Born in 1924, Texan Bette Nesmith Graham was a single mother who began work as a secretary for the Texas Bank & Trust in 1951. Graham worked to support her young son Michael and eventually became an executive secretary for the chairman of the board.
The story goes that Graham began to use white, water-based tempera paint and a thin paintbrush to cover her typing errors, calling her invention Mistake Out. Initially she kept her idea to herself (her boss never noticed the paint on his documents) and did not actually sell a bottle of Mistake Out until 1956.
Ever resourceful, Graham recruited a team to help her perfect her product. Graham eventually patented the product and renamed it Liquid Paper. However, her invention was certainly no overnight success and she continued to work in the bank, managing Liquid Paper after hours.
In 1957, she was selling around 100 bottles a month. Good press coverage in a stationary magazine increased turnover five-fold and the business was showing signs of life.
In 1958, Graham was fired from the bank, but by then could just about afford to devote her time to the Liquid Paper business as it continued to grow. Part-time employees were hired but it was 13 years after she first created Liquid Paper, in 1961, that Graham hired her first full-time employee.
In 1968, 17 years after launching Liquid Paper, the company was finally big enough to invest in a factory and head office. Headquarters for the company was built in Dallas and, under Grahamís instructions, included a childcare center and a library.
After Bette Nesmith Grahamís amazing success, Liquid Paper continued to flourish under the Gillette Corporation, launching its own correction pen and correction tape in the market.
In 2000, the Liquid Paper brand was acquired by Newell Rubbermaid as part of the acquisition of Gilletteís Stationary Products Group. Since then, Liquid Paper has continued to introduce innovative products that meet the needs of our consumers from students to professionals.