3M Co. history, company profile (overview) and history video
3M Co. is a multinational conglomerate (a multi-industry company) headquartered in Maplewood, Minnesota, United States. It provides its solutions for customers through four business groups: Safety & Industrial, Transportation & Electronics, Health Care, and Consumer. It produces more than 60,000 products that are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, and other industries.
- ACE™ Brand
- Command™ Brand
- Filtrete™ Brand
- FUTURO™ Brand
- 3M™ Littmann® Brand
- Nexcare™ Brand
- Post-it® Brand
- Scotch® Brand
- Scotch-Brite™ Brand
- Scotchgard™ Brand
- Scotch® Painter’s Tape
- Adhesives, Sealants & Fillers
- Advanced Materials
- Automotive Parts & Hardware
- Building Materials
- Cleaning Supplies
- Compounds & Polishes
- Dental & Orthodontics
- Electronics Materials & Components
- Films & Sheeting
- Filtration & Separation
- Lab Supplies & Testing
- Office Supplies
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Signage & Marking
- Tools & Equipment
3M began in 1902 when Dr. J. Danley Budd, Henry. S. Bryan, William A. McGonagle, John Dwan and Hermon W. Cable founded Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. They started the company with the goal of mining for corundum, a mineral ideal for making sandpaper and grinding wheels. Turns out, what they thought was corundum was really another low-grade mineral called anorthosite.
In 1905, the company moved to Duluth, MN, to make sandpaper with abrasive minerals purchased from another source, thanks to an investment from St. Paul businessman, Lucius P. Ordway.
In 1907, the future 3M President and Chairman of the Board, William L. McKnight, joined Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. as an assistant bookkeeper.
In 1910, the investor Lucius Ordway established the first plant in St. Paul, MN.
In 1914, the 3M™ Three-M-ite™ Abrasive Cloth became 3M’s first exclusive product.
In 1916, thanks to the Three-M-ite cloth and a boost in business from World War I, 3M posted substantial profits and declared its first dividend.
In 1921, the company introduced 3M™ Wetordry™ Waterproof Sandpaper — the world’s first water-resistant coated abrasive.
In 1925, while testing abrasive samples at a body shop, Richard Drew, a 3M lab assistant, noted that painters were having trouble masking car parts. He got an idea that led to the invention of masking tape. The tape was a hit and the Scotch® brand tape product line was born.
In the early 1940s, the company’s efforts were diverted into applying 3M products to defense materials for World War II.
In 1946, 3M was listed for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
In 1947, 3M™ Sound Recording Tape allowed consumers to record and playback music and voice recordings at a later time.
In 1948, the company launched solid color gift ribbons and surgical drapes.
In 1950, the 3M™ Thermo-Fax™ Copier was introduced.
In 1951, 3M established international companies in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.
In 1956, 3M introduced Scotchgard™ Fabric and Upholstery Protector to the textile industry.
In 1960, 3M Micropore™ Surgical Tape, the first hypoallergenic tape, was introduced.
In 1969, the 3M products were used by astronauts in the first moon landing, including 3M™ Fluorel™ Elastomer, a synthetic rubber used in the astronaut’s boots worn inside the space capsule.
In 1980, 3M introduced Post-it® Notes.
In 1984, 3M became the first wholly-owned, foreign-invested enterprise in China.
In 2002, “3M Company” became the legal name for 3M – originally incorporated as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.
In 2009, 3M’s healthcare business introduced the 3M Littmann® Electronic Stethoscope Model 3200, an auscultation device featuring Bluetooth wireless technology that transfers heart, lung and other body sounds to software for further analysis.
In 2012, the Renewable Energy Division and Gossamer Space Frames unveiled the world’s largest aperture trough using 3M™ Solar Mirror Film 1100 for concentrated solar power.
In 2017, the 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material was introduced for athletic activewear manufacturers.
With more than 96,000 employees, 3M Company has operations in over 70 countries and sales in over 200 countries. 3M Co. is considered one of the largest United States corporations by revenue. According to Forbes, it is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World.
*Information from Forbes.com, Wikipedia.org, and www.3m.com.
**Video published on YouTube by “3M Films“