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The Little Known Origin Of WD-40

This section of our site is called “Origins Of Top Businesses.”  

It features interesting facts about the early years of well-known businesses.

These facts are given to you for fun and inspiration.
Fun because how many top businesses started out is really surprising.
Inspiring because it will help you as a business owner see that if they can do it, so can you.

Now for today’s facts:

  •  In 1953, three of the staff from Rocket Chemical Company set out to develop a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for the aerospace industry in a small lab in San Diego.
  • It took them 40 attempts to work out the water displacement formula.
  • The name WD-40 stands for “water displacement, formulation successful in 40th attempt.”
  • Convair, a unit of General Dynamics, first used WD-40 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion.
  • The product worked so well that employees used to sneak WD-40 cans out of the plant to use at home. 
  • Norm Larsen, the Rocket Chemical technician who invented WD-40, came up with the idea of selling it to the general public.
  • WD-40 hit store shelves in San Diego in 1958.
  • The company never patented WD-40 so they could avoid having to disclose the ingredients publicly.
Source NYTimes

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.