Monday, January 19, 2009

My Town Monday: WD-40

Before starting this week's My Town Monday's post, I want to wrap up last week's book giveaway.

Congratulations to Alyson at New England Living, the winner of a signed copy of Eileen Cook's WHAT WOULD EMMA DO?!

And congratulations to Paradox of Paradoxical! You've won a signed copy of I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES! Email me at barrie.summy@gmail.com, and we'll get the ball rolling.

Thanks to everyone for playing!

Now, without further ado, here's this week's My Town Monday post. And it's rust-proof!

Did you know that WD-40 was invented in San Diego?

Way back when, in 1953, the Rocket Chemical Company, a little company of three people working in a little lab, "set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry."

It took them FORTY tries, hence the name WD-40! The WD stands for Water Displacement. (Apparently, there is a mysterious (for me) scientific connection between corrosion prevention and water displacement.)

Convair used WD-40 to protect the outside of the Atlas Missile from corrosion. In 1958, WD-40 hit store shelves in an aerosol can. In 1960, the company boasted seven employees and sold a whopping 45 cases daily to stores in the San Diego area. In 1971, the company went public. By 1993, sales were up to a million cans/week!

From the product website, here's a interesting tip for you musicians out there:

Try soaking new guitar strings in WD-40 before putting them on a guitar. The WD-40-soaked strings are easier to play and less likely to break because of the reduced friction. (submitted by J. Mark Holbrook)

So, the next time you're at a fancy cocktail party and someone asks you to pass the WD-40, you can totally impress by saying, "Oh, do you mean the Water Displacement that was invented in San Diego on the 40th try?"

(sources: http://www.wd40.com/, http://www.sandiegotraveltips.com/)

Sepiru Chris and Junosmom list links to other My Town Monday participants. They're lending a hand while Travis Erwin, our fearless MTM leader, gets his life back in order following a recent fire that burned his house down. To help him out, please visit Habitat for Travis.

32 comments:

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello Barrie,

I have you in for the MTM posts, and thanks for the plug. Hopefully my plug for the interviews helps you out in return.

Right, now onto WD-40...

If you displace water, and (implicitly) replace the displaced water with oil, then you help prevent oxygen from getting near to the metal and oxidizing it.

Rust is a form of oxidation. Hence, that is why it is WD, or Water Displacement.

Where does the water come from, you likely ask?

Condensation or rain or dogs or whatever.

The pressurized nature of WD-40 is what allows it to displace water, should any be there.

Simply dripping oil over something, should water be there, will not displace the water, as the grade of oil they would use would normally float on top of the water.

K. My work is done, even if neither contest have I won.

*sigh*

Tschuess,
Chris

Barrie said...

Ah, Chris, wow, thank you for the explanation. Just go buy the books. You know you want to. :)

Bee said...

You just NEVER know what you are going to learn when you go blog-visiting!

Vodka Mom said...

We love WD-40. HA! WHo knew..San Diego???

Love the back story.........

debra said...

WD-40, like Duct Tape (from NE Ohio :-) are staples in my house. I never knew it's history.

gabe said...

I'll never look at a can of WD40 the sam.

Laura said...

Can I win your next signed copy?!?!?!? Pretty please?!?!?!?!

PS - - got a little bloggy-bling on my blog for you!!!!

Cheers!

Chantal said...

LOL I will file that away for my next cocktail party for sure.

JenKneeBee said...

I never thought I'd know so much about WD-40! :)

Mac and Cheese said...

Wow, it's like Cliff Claven wrote this. Cool!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Funny story about WD-40! Hey, thanks for the give-away. Can't wait to read the book!

Stacy said...

My Town Monday will make all the participants into great tour guides when they get new visitors staying with them.

Kristina P. said...

Very interesting! WD-40 is magical stuff.

Larramie said...

The best and most practical inventions come from those who are rarely recognized. Thanks for shining the spotlight here, Barrie.

Keri Mikulski said...

Interesting.. :)

laughingwolf said...

while i was still electrifying the world, i used wd-40 to clean my hands of grease and found it also relieves some of the pain associated with overuse of fingers/hands :D

Charles Gramlich said...

WD 40 is magic. I've used it for just about everything.

Bookworm said...

So cool!

Suzy said...

Both Eileen Cook and Jess Riley mentioned you and I just wanted to cngratulate you and ask what page I'm on in the book? Am I the star or the villain?

David Cranmer said...

I always have a can of WD-40 around and now I know the history. Gracias!

blueviolet said...

I love hearing that type of thing. The 40 tries...so interesting.

:)

Sepiru Chris said...

You are right, Barrie, I do want to (buy your book). I need to find the right sized person to give it to; not so many tweens and teens in expatriate land. Nonetheless, in the fullness of time, I shall. Je me souviens.

Cheers et felicitations encore une fois,

Fellow Canuck,
Chris

Stacy Nyikos said...

Ohmigosh, I'm so going to have to share this with my dad. He lives by WD-40. I even got a can for Christmas one year. He loves the stuff!

ARCHAVIST said...

wd40 - And I thought it was British.

Barbara Martin said...

I've used that wonderful stuff.

On another note, I have something on my blog for you.

Paradox said...

Yay! I won! But I already e-mailed Eileen Cook about it because she was the one holding the contest.

Travis Erwin said...

Very interesting.

D.A. Riser said...

I'm proud (I guess) to report that I already worked my new knowledge of WD-40 into a conversation at work today. Wow. Now, if only I could find a blog on duct tape or chicken wire ...

Alyssa Goodnight said...

As ever, an informative and entertaining MTM post! Way to carry the torch!

If you're interested, I tagged you for a meme.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello again Barrie,

(No worries, this is not stalking...really...)

I just wanted to congratulate you too on the sweetness that Barbara Martin has been bestowing this morning!

Tschuess,
Chris

Lauren said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog! This is so interesting about WD-40. I love WD-40 and now I know more about it! The next time we use it at home I will tell my husband and will sound super smart.

Goes to show you, if they'd have given up at try number 39, many things would be squeaky and hard to move today.

Angela said...

You never run out of interesting things to write about do you.

As always I enjoyed this post.