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Posted by STEVE M on

I have seen loads of comments in various technical fora about the benefits -  and the pitfalls of using WD40.  That said, its nice to see that in the early 1930s Marconi exhorted us all to use WD40 in our radios:-

Many of us will have used WD40 penetrating spray for all sorts of other jobs and this eclectic brew has an interesting back story.  

It was invented in 1953 by Norman Lawson  in his garage and  the rights to formulate and market was sold to the Rocket Chemical Company  for  $500.

WD-40 is abbreviated from the term Water Displacement, 40th formula and the formula was never patented to prevent competitors finding out what the precise formula was. 

The spray was originally designed to be used by Convair to protect the outer skin of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion - an important factor when you consider this skin as well as being paper thin, contained the missiles extremely flammable fuel!

The company's CEO Norman Larsen hit upon the idea of bottling WD40 in an aerosol spray and in 1968 started to market the product locally in San Diego and then in Europe by 1969. 

In 2021, WD40  remains a global business netting over $400 million annually in sales.





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