A Pioneering Single Mom Created Liquid Paper, and It's Been Fixing Typos for 60 Years Now

Delving into an invention that came with considerable obstacles

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Bette Nesmith Graham was in a terrible fix. It was 1954, and the Texas Bank and Trust, where she worked as a secretary, had just replaced its old manual typewriters with new IBM electrics. Graham had never been a great typist in the first place, and the IBM machines’ feather-touch keys caused her to make even more mistakes. Worse, thanks to the machines’ carbon-film ribbons, the goofs were nearly impossible to erase.

Graham’s solution was of her own crafting: a little bottle of fast-drying fluid that, today, we know as Liquid Paper.



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This story first appeared in the March 5, 2018, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.