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The Origin of WD-40

Historical Events

The product began from a search for a rust preventative solvent and de-greaser to protect missile parts. WD-40 was created in 1953 by three technicians at the San Diego Rocket Chemical Company.

Its name comes from the project that was to find a "water displacement" compound. They were successful with the fortieth formulation, thus WD-40.

The Corvair Company bought it in bulk to protect their Atlas missile parts. The workers were so pleased with the product, they began stealing it to use at home. The executives decided there might be a consumer market for it and put it in aerosol cans.

It is a carefully guarded recipe known only to four people. Only one of them is the "brew master."

About 2.5 million gallons are manufactured each year. It gets its distinctive smell from a fragrance that is added to the brew.

Posted:  2004-08-30  4:56:00 PM

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