Chemist behind Post-it Notes dies at 80

Spencer Silver had a creative side with a love of cooking and painting

Clara Hill@clara_ish
Friday 14 May 2021 20:48
comments
<p>Spencer Silver, the man who helped invent the Post-It Note has died aged 80</p>

Spencer Silver, the man who helped invent the Post-It Note has died aged 80

Leer en Español

The man who created the Post-it note has passed away, according to 3M, the company that manufactures the iconic office supply.

Spencer Silver died at his home in Minnesota on 8 May at 80 years old. Silver started working for the company in 1966, and two years later, he created the sticky formula that became famous.

The origins of the discovery of “microsphere adhesives” were outlined in Mr Spencers obituary, which stated, “In 1974 colleague Art Fry came up with the idea of using Spencer’s invention to prevent paper bookmarks from falling out of his hymnal when he sang in church. Thus, Post-it Notes were born.”

His signature invention led to the Press’n’Peel, which did not become commercially available until 1977 and was met with a lukewarm reception until 1980 after being renamed Post-it note. The note pads remain one of the brand’s best selling products.

Beyond his professional accolades, Mr Spencer’s obituary detailed what he liked to do for fun. He retired in 1996 and obtained 37 different patents while working for the company.

“Spencer loved to cook, experimenting with foods, and following YouTube videos of Jacques Pepin and Jamie Oliver. He lived life to the full, enjoying expedition travels abroad and, especially, exploring the English countryside with his wife of 56 years, Linda,” the obituary read.

He also enjoyed painting and showed his work in galleries across the country and was active in Northeast Minneapolis Artists Association.

Instead of flowers, his family requested people make donations for programmes aimed at kids learning about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.

He leaves behind his wife, Linda, who he was married to for 56 years, a daughter and two grandchildren.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments