In the late 1940’s Bette was a divorced single mother with a young son. She was an artist, but worked as a secretary. Growing increasingly frustrated at her inability to correct her typing mistakes, one day while painting she had a brainstorm.
Realizing artists don’t erase mistakes but paint over them, she decided to create a formula to paint over her typing mistakes. She filled a small bottle with her paint and water recipe and brought it to work. Her ‘miracle mixture’ did the trick, and soon Bette was supplying hundreds of other secretaries with her correction fluid.
After an article about her product appeared in a magazine, orders flooded in and the secretary who was really an artist became the inventor of Liquid Paper, one of the most profitable office supplies in history.
Twenty years after her initial inspiration, Bette sold Liquid Paper for $47.5 million dollars. She gave $25 million to her son, former Monkees band member Michael Nesmith, who invested it in Pacific Arts Studio, a pioneer in the music video industry.
So, the next time you’re correcting a paper error or dancing along to your favorite music video, thank a woman, thank Bette Nesmith Graham.