3M Scotch Brand Tape Declared Historical Landmark

The American Chemical Society (ACS, Washington, D.C.), the world’s largest scientific society, has designated 3M Scotch Brand Tape as an “historical chemical landmark,” citing its ubiquitous use in the modern world and 3M’s (St. Paul, Minn.) innovative role in adhesives technology.

ACS board of directors chair Dr. Judith L. Benham presented a special bronze plaque marking the distinction to Dr. Fred J. Palensky, 3M executive vice president, Research and Development, and chief technology officer, in a ceremony at 3M Center.

Each year since 1993, an international committee of prominent chemists, chemical engineers, museum curators, and science and technology historians evaluates the nominations and grants landmark recognition to the historic achievements they deem most notable, seeking seminal scientific achievements that have stood the test of time and have had a significant impact on society.

Invented more than 75 years ago, 3M Scotch tape is now sold in some 900 varieties. In May of this year, its primary inventor, Richard Drew, was posthumously inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio. Drew, who also invented 3M’s removable masking tape, overcame numerous challenges in the lab, over a period of several years, before he succeeded in creating the world’s first clear, waterproof pressure-sensitive adhesive tape that could be produced in rolls and easily applied by the user. 3M sells more than 4.1 million miles of Scotch tape annually, or enough to circle the Earth 165 times.

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