Betty and Mike

1948, Betty-Claire and Mike

Mike Nesmith's Mom.  She invented Liquid Paper. 

Mike's Post on Facebook for Mother's Day (5/11/13)Edit

"This is a picture of my mother and me around 1948. I was 4. She was 22. It was taken outside a Christian Science church. She had been healed some years earlier by a CS Practitioner of a terminal illness overnight and it changed her life. She studied the teachings all her life and practiced them as best she could. Her name was Bette Claire. Deep in the family she was called both names as a hyphen – “Betty-Claire” was the pronunciation. Outside the family she was Betty. She and my father divorced about this time and she raised me by herself. I was the only child. I met my father years later and loved them both, although I was never curious why they had divorced; only puzzled about how they had ever married in the first place. They were quite different.

Bette struggled along through most of my childhood, until the late fifties when she invented a correction fluid for typing errors. She named it Liquid Paper, grew it throughout the sixties into an International multimillion dollar corporation that she sold to the Gillette Corporation in the late seventies a year before her death in 1980.

She was a remarkable and lovely woman, principled, honest, and caring. She did not suffer fools or scoundrels but she had a deep compassion for the broken heart, and particularly for the plight of women, the disenfranchised, and the innocent child. 

She instilled a love of science and the truth in me, encouraged me to find and serve the higher idea, the deeper reasons, and a love for all things good and beautiful. She developed in me my notions of motherhood, womanhood, and my own femininity. She taught me how to be a man, be strong and courageous, to be loyal, patient, and kind.

I loved her deeply and still do.

In her memory, and as a testament to her selfless love, I honor her, all my ex’s Mothers, all my children’s Mother’s and all Motherhood - wherever and however it is found."  

Women Inventors-linkEdit

"As electric typewriters came into widespread use after World War II, Bette Nesmith Graham and countless other secretaries let out a collective groan. The new machines did make typing easier, but their carbon-film ribbons made it impossible to correct mistakes neatly with a pencil eraser. As a result of this predicament, Graham ended up inventing one of the most widely used office products of the 20th century.

Born in 1924 in Dallas, Texas, Bette Graham dropped out of high school at the age of seventeen and went to secretarial school. By 1951, she had worked her way up to the position of executive secretary for W.W. Overton, the Chairman of the Board of the Texas Bank and Trust. It was at this time that Graham and her colleagues at the bank began experiencing trouble with the new IBM electric typewriters. Tired of having to retype entire pages because of one small error, Graham determined to find a more efficient alternative. Little did she know her frustration would lead to her becoming one of the most famous women inventors of the 20th century.

The impetus for Graham's breakthrough came as she observed painters decorating the bank windows for the holidays. Rather than remove their mistakes entirely, the painters simply covered any imperfections with an additional layer. The quick-thinking Graham mimicked their technique by using a white, water-based tempera paint to cover her typing errors.

When the other secretaries realized how well the invention worked, they flooded Graham with requests for their own supplies. The now-famous woman inventor sold her first batch of "Mistake Out" in 1956, and soon she was working full-time to produce and bottle it from her North Dallas home. Her son Michael – who would later achieve fame as a member of the pop group The Monkees – and his friends helped to fill the growing number of orders for Mistake Out.

Graham continued experimenting with the makeup of the substance until she achieved the perfect combination of paint and several other chemicals. The refined product was renamed "Liquid Paper" in 1958 and, amid soaring demand, Graham applied for a patent and a trademark that same year.

Graham's Liquid Paper Company experienced tremendous growth over the next decade. By 1967, the company had its own corporate headquarters and automated production plant, and sales were in excess of one million units per year. In 1975, Graham moved operations into a 35,000-sq. ft. international Liquid Paper headquarters building in Dallas. She sold the company to Gillette Corporation four years later, just six months before her death in 1980."

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