Thursday, June 14, 2007

Just Scratching and Smoothing the Surface

Isaac Fisher, Jr., received four patents, all on this date in 1834 for sandpaper. He added adhesive to the tool previously used -- sand. Sandpaper joined the long list of smoothing and planing tools used by builders and handymen in the 19th Century.

Sandpaper was improved in the 1920's by a young man, Richard Drew, who worked for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (that's 3M to us modern folks). He water-proofed it so sandpaper could join the booming automobile industry in smoothing the soon-to-be-painted auto bodies.
Sandpaper is a tool used by more than handymen and manufacturers. It is also critical for romantic evenings. Emory boards smooth and shape the most beautiful and sexy fingernails around. Match boxes often have a sandpaper strip along the side to light the match and then the romantic candles.

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