Claim: Monkee Mike Nesmith's mother was the inventor of Liquid Paper correction fluid.
Origins: Bette Nesmith Graham
Bette Nesmith and young Michael
(she was divorced from Michael's father in 1946 and remarried in 1964) came up with the idea of using a small bottle of tempera waterbase paint to correct her typing errors while she was an executive secretary with Texas Bank & Trust in Dallas in 1951. She supplied bottles of the fluid to other secretaries at her workplace (under the name "Mistake Out") for several years; then, in 1956, she improved the formula, changed its name to "Liquid Paper," and set out to trademark the name and patent her product. After IBM passed on her offer to sell Liquid Paper to them, Bette started marketing the product on her own. Liquid Paper, Inc., did not become profitable for several years, and it was not until the mid-1960s that Liquid Paper correction fluid began to generate substantial income for its inventor.
Liquid Paper was sold to the Gillette Corporation in 1979 for $47.5 million (plus a royalty on every bottle sold until the year 2000). Bette Nesmith Graham died in 1980, leaving half her fortune to her son Michael and half to philanthropic organizations.
Last updated: 19 May 2011
Massingill, Randi L. Total Control: The Michael Nesmith Story.
Mesa, AZ: FLEXquarters, 1997. ISBN 0-9658218-3-8 (pp. 17-21).
Vare, Ethlie Ann and Greg Ptacek. Mothers of Invention.
New York: William Morrow, 1988. ISBN 0-688-06464-7 (pp. 38-42).
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.