Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Mistake-Fixing Mom

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Have you heard the Monkees?

The mom of the guitarist is the person who invented white-out (aka liquid paper)!
Bette Nesmith Graham (1924-1980) was a bank secretary who wanted something to cover up her typing mistakes. From her Wikipedia page:

It was difficult to erase mistakes made by early electric typewriters, which caused problems. In order to make extra money she used her talent painting holiday windows at the bank. She realized, as she said, "with lettering, an artist never corrects by erasing, but always paints over the error. So I decided to use what artists use. I put some tempera water-based paint in a bottle and took my watercolor brush to the office. I used that to correct my mistakes."

Graham secretly used her white correction paint for five years, making some improvements with help from her son's chemistry teacher at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas. Some bosses admonished her against using it, but coworkers frequently sought her "paint out". She eventually began marketing her typewriter correction fluid as "Mistake Out" in 1956. The name was later changed to Liquid Paper when she began her own company.

Good work, Bette!

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