Bette Nesmith Graham

Bette Nesmith Graham was born in Dallas, Texas in 1924. She dropped out of high school and worked as a secretary. As a single mother she worked at the Texas Bank & Trust in Dallas. The advent of electric typewriters raised problems for Graham: She discovered that errors made using the new type writer ribbons could not be erased. An amateur artist, Graham did what artists do when they make mistakes--she invented a white liquid that could be painted over the typewritten error. Initially she named her invention "mistake out." The making and marketing of her product was very much a home-based operation. She made the liquid in her kitchen and rounded up her son and his friends to bottle the liquid in her garage. Orders for the product--renamed "Liquid Paper"--poured in. Liquid Paper soon became a standard product in all offices. In 1979, Graham sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Company for 47 million dollars plus royalties for every bottle sold till 2000. Graham died in 1980.

Cherokee Grandma Spider Steals the Sun


Women Inventors by Jean Blashfield (Capstone, 1996).
Patently Female by Ethlie Ann Vare and Greg Ptacek (John Wiley, 2002) pp. 11-13.

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Liquid Paper
Bette Nesmith Graham Biography
Bette Nesmith Graham