Minnesota Post-It Note Inventor Passes Away at 80
RIP to the chemist and inventor that is responsible for keeping so many people organized on the job. Spencer Silver passed away May 8th at 80 years old in his home in St. Paul.
Silver was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1941, and obtained degrees from the University of Arizona and University of Colorado before coming to Minnesota to join 3M's Central Research Laboratories in 1966:
One of the 37 patents awarded to him during his time at 3M is for "microsphere adhesives"—Post-it. 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.
Silver retired from 3M in1996, and won multiple awards for chemistry and inventing, but it wasn't all science for him. He was also a talented artist who had his work displayed at the Bloomington Center for the Arts and other venues. He also enjoyed cooking and traveling with his wife.
What I think is really cool is what the family is requesting instead of flowers for the memorial service. The family is instead asking for donations to Camp Invention, which is a camp that is a STEM Summer Program for kids in grades K-6 that encourages curious kids to become inventive thinkers. The program has locations in all 50 states, and here in Central Minnesota there are going to be two sessions offered, one in Albany in June, and one in August in St. Joseph.
Thank you Spencer Silver for your contributions and inventions. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and loved ones at this time. See Spencer Silver's full obituary here.