Innovator: PATSY SHERMAN
Discovery: Scotchgard™ protector
There she was in a 3M lab, in the middle of researching a new rubber for jet aircraft fuel lines with colleague Sam Smith in 1952, when Chemical Researcher Patsy Sherman noticed something odd. A lab assistant accidentally dropped a glass bottle containing an experimental compound on her new tennis shoes. The spill would not wash off, nor would any solvent remove it. Big Idea: develop a compound that repels oil and water from fabrics. Scotchgard™ fabric and material protector was born in 1956.