Patsy Sherman, inventor of Scotchgard (1997) :: Smithsonian Lemelson Center
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About Us

Oral & video history documentation

The Lemelson Center's oral and video history projects increase historical documentation on invention and innovation in the United States.
Above: Guitarist G.E. Smith is featured in the Electric Guitar Video Documentation Project. Smithsonian photo by Jeff Tinsley.

Full descriptions of the following collections may be found by searching the archives and manuscripts section of SIRIS, the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System. Unless otherwise noted, all collections are housed in the NMAH Archives Center. For further information, contact the Archives Center Reference Desk.

Oral & video history documentation is listed in alphabetical order by subject of interview. Date of interview is in parentheses.


Patsy Sherman, inventor of Scotchgard® (1997)

Video footage documenting the "Innovative Lives" program presented by Patsy Sherman, inventor of Scotchgard®. In 1952, the idea for Scotchgard® came about by accident when Sherman and her colleagues spilled a mixture that they discovered would repel solvents and water. They understood the potential of this mixture for the protection of fabrics, and after much experimentation and testing, Sherman, with her colleague Sam Smith and 3M, patented Scotchgard® and over a dozen other inventions. Audience participation by students from the Ormond Stone Middle School, Centreville, Va., and the Drew Freeman Science and Math Middle School, Suitland, Md.

0.35 cu. ft: 3 boxes containing original and reference videos.

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