Founded in 1902 as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Dr J Danley Budd, Henry Bryan, William Mcgonagle, John Dwan, and Hermon Cable.
The company’s initial venture, mining corundum to make sandpaper wasn’t particularly successful because the company’s initial land holding mainly held anorthosite instead.
Essentially, the company had to science its way out of trouble. Over the years, 3M has come up with waterproof sandpaper, Scotch tape, Post-It Notes, and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) which helps to create teflon.
It also come up with the 15 percent principle, which allowed employees to spend 15 percent of their time to their own private projects.