Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Norm Larsen & Company

Today we celebrate the invention of a product that has made millions of people's lives easier and put a stop to squeaky doors around the world - WD-40.

WD-40 literally means "Water Displacement, 40th attempt" in honor of the number of trials it took chemist Norm Larsen and his colleagues of the San Diego Rocket Chemical Co. to produce a solution that would effectively ward off rust.

Developed in 1953, WD-40 was to initially prevent rust corrosion on missile bodies. Discovery of further uses prompted Larsen, in 1958, to come up with a way to distribute the product for commercial use. The aerosol can was his answer. Within two years the company more than doubled in size (to a total of seven employees) and was selling more than 45 cases of WD-40 daily. In 1969, the the company changed its name to WD-40, in honor of its only product. In 1973, when the company officially went public and WD-40 became available to households over the counter, the company grew exponentially - by 1993 estimates place sales at more than one million cans daily.

Today the company prides itself on its product's "2000+" uses. Consumers tend to find WD-40 a "must-have" around the house. In recent years, the company has acquired the products of several other household companies and offer such familiar items as Carpet Fresh, 2000 Flushes, Spot Shot, 3-in-one oil, and others - all of which make our lives easier.


WD-40 at:


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