History of the 3M™ Corporation

By: CableOrganizer®

3m logo

When people ask for what brand of tape they should use, many find a solution in 3M™ products. This can be attributed to the presence of 3M™ for more than a century. In that time, the company has developed innovative and recognizable products, from Scotch® Tape to Post-it® Notes to Command™ Strips. Adhesive products may have given 3M™ its popularity, but these giants of transparent tape didn't stop there. 3M™ has developed numerous products in several different fields, ranging from sandpaper to pharmaceuticals. Below is a timeline reflecting on the many 3M™ inventions and achievements that have made projects much easier for people all over the world.

• 1902 — Five men in the Lake Superior town of Two Harbors, Minnesota set out looking to mine certain types of mineral deposits as an adhesive for grinding wheels. This led to the birth of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, which later became 3M™. However, mining turned out to be of little use. After its failed attempt with the mineral deposit, the company decided to move its location to nearby Duluth, to focus on sandpaper manufacturing. A few years of struggle ensued until 3M™ was finally able to master the quality of their production lines — and create a successful supply chain.

• 1910 — Lucius Ordway, an investor attracted to the growing success of 3M™, moved the company to St. Paul, Minnesota.

• 1916 — Thanks to early technical and marketing innovations, 3M™ was able to grow from a small company into a corporation; and paid its first dividend of 6 cents a share.

• 1920 — 3M™ created the world's first waterproof sandpaper, which became popular in automobile manufacturing for its reduction of airborne particles during sanding.

• 1925 — A young lab assistant by the name of Richard G. Drew gave 3M™ its start as a household name, when he invented a clear masking tape. Its development would soon lead to the launch of the popular brand known as Scotch® Tape.

• 1940s — With World War II raging on, 3M™ decided to divert its efforts into defense materials. This eventually led to products such as Scotchlite™ Reflective Sheeting, which was used for highway marking, magnetic sound recording tape, and filament adhesive tape. 3M™ also extended its reaches into the graphic arts industry, with a line of offset printing plates.

• 1950s — 3M™ continued to diversify the company with products such as the Thermo-Fax™ copying process, Scotch-Brite® Cleaning Pads, Scotchgard™ Fabric Protector, magnetic tape for films, and electro-mechanical products.

• 1960s — Many new products were introduced to the public, such as dry-silver microfilms, photographic products, overhead projectors, and carbonless paper. At the same time 3M™, had begun to expand their product lines by reaching into the rapidly growing healthcare industry, with research and development of new medical and dental products.

• 1970's through the 1980's — Always looking for ways to further extend its markets, 3M™ set their sights on fields such as pharmaceuticals, radiology, and energy control.

• 1980 — 3M™ developed the Post-it® Note. This product would forever change the way people organize their thoughts and to-do-lists, at home or in the office.

• 1990s — An array of innovative products from 3M™ were introduced, such as brightness enhancement films for monitors and televisions; immune response modifier pharmaceuticals; and flexible circuits for many different electronics devices, like cell phones and inkjet printers. The 1990s also marked the 3M™ achievement of $15 billion in sales. By the year 2004, 3M™ reached over $20 billion in sales.

• 2000 to present — 3M™ continues to lead at the forefront of innovation with new products in fire protection, high-definition video cables, and fiber optic patch cables. The company has continued to grow the Scotch®, Scotch-Brite®, Command™ , and Post-it® brand names.

While it started off as a small company in the Great Lakes region, 3M™ has grown into a worldwide corporation with companies in over 70 countries. Today, 3M™ strives to earn the admiration of everyone associated with the corporation, by valuing and respecting their investors, environment, and employees, as well as providing over 95,000 jobs to local citizens in the locations where 3M™ facilities are located.

Related Items