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Bette Nesmith Graham

Bette Nesmith Graham ended up inventing one of the mostly widely used office products of the 20th century. Typewriters came into widespread use after World War II. Although typing was a lot easier, It was nearly impossible to correct mistakes on their carbon-film ribbons neatly with just a pencil and eraser.

Graham was tired of having to retype whole pages because of one small error and became determined to find a simpler and more efficient solution. Her breakthrough on creating “Liquid Paper” came from one day observing painters who were decorating the bank windows for the holidays. She noticed that, rather than take off the paint when they made a mistake, they just covered over it with another layer of paint. Graham mimicked their technique by using a white, water-based tempera paint to cover her typing errors.

Bette Nesmith Graham’s invention quickly spread to other secretaries who were now requesting their own supply of the paint. Graham had sold her first batch in 1956 and soon she had been working full time to produce and bottle it from her North Dallas home. Graham applied for a patent and a trademark. Over the next decade her company experienced tremendous growth and by 1967 the company had its own corporate headquarters and automated production plant.

student typing

Bette Nesmith Graham’s Contribution to business and efficiency connects daily to all students, particularly those studying in the Business Technology in the Consumer Services, Information and Transportation Academy. Business Technology is a two-year, pre-professional program designed for students planning careers in business or finance. In a simulated office setting utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, students become acquainted with the skills, abilities, and attitudes needed for successful job performance in the technical business office profession.