Most people believe that Thomas Alva Edison invented the electric light bulb. This isn’t true, but for all practical purposes, it might as well be. While working electric light bulbs had been demonstrated as early as 1800 in laboratory conditions, Edison was the first to develop an electric light bulb that could be manufactured and operated efficiently enough to be attractive for municipalities, businesses and, later, families. More
Lessons in failure
By Dr. Ed Tori, March 2015
These days, there is hardly a household, business, or even computer screen that isn’t covered in some variation of those popular little yellow adhesive notes. How many households and businesses today would be shocked to know that the all-purpose Post-It® Note almost didn’t happen?
When Dr. Spencer Silver of the 3M Company accidentally discovered a new adhesive in 1968, he found it fascinating. It had an unusual structure that couldn’t be dissolved or melted. But because it was such a weak adhesive, it had no apparent use. After promoting it within the company for five years, he set it aside. More