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[Slashdot] - Spencer Silver, an Inventor of Post-it Notes, Is Dead at 80

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Spencer Silver, a research chemist at 3M who inadvertently created the not-too-sticky adhesive that allows Post-it Notes to be removed from surfaces as easily as they adhere to them, died on Saturday at his home in St. Paul, Minn. He was 80. From a report: His wife, Linda, said that he died after an episode of ventricular tachycardia, in which the heart beats faster than normal. Mr. Silver had a heart transplant 27 years ago. Since their introduction in 1980, Post-it Notes have become a ubiquitous office product, first in the form of little canary-yellow pads -- billions of which are sold annually -- and later also in different hues and sizes, some with much stickier adhesives. There are currently more than 3,000 Post-it Brand products globally. Dr. Silver worked in 3M's central research laboratory developing adhesives. In 1968, he was trying to create one that was so strong it could be used in aircraft construction. He failed in that goal. But during his experimentation, he invented something entirely different: an adhesive that stuck to surfaces, but that could be easily peeled off and was reusable. It was a solution to a problem that did not appear to exist, but Dr. Silver was certain it was a breakthrough. "I felt my adhesive was so obviously unique that I began to give seminars throughout 3M in the hope I would spark an idea among its product developers," he told Financial Times in 2010. Dr. Silver promoted his adhesive for several years within 3M, a company known for its innovative workplace, so assiduously that he became known as "Mr. Persistent."

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