It was Sunday in church, 1974, when Arthur Fry had his moment of insight. Fry, a member of the choir, was having trouble marking pages for the hymnals. Whenever he opened the book his makeshift bookmarks fell out or got caught in the seams. The problem was innocent enough, yet it persisted. What Fry really needed was an adhesive strong enough so his bookmarks stuck to the pages but weak enough so he wouldn’t damage the pages when he removed the bookmarks.
He recalled a seminar given by his colleague, Spencer Silver, a few years ago. Silver described a new adhesive he discovered during his talk and Fry had been wondering how it could be applied ever since. That’s when the answer came to him: why not use Silver’s adhesive for the bookmark?
He called his idea the Post-It note.