ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 4, 2001--It's a pretty good guess that somewhere in the world each day there is a person giving thanks for the protective powers of Scotchgard protection, that groundbreaking, invisible wonder created by scientists at 3M nearly 50 years ago. Keeping soup from staining ties, making spills easy to clean off carpet and shielding against a host of other potential calamities is what Scotchgard protection has long been trusted to do. Come September, two 3M chemists credited with this development are getting their scientific due when the National Inventors Hall of Fame inducts them into the organization, recognizing their contribution for making our world an easier place to keep clean.

Patsy Sherman and Sam Smith will join the National Inventor's Hall of Fame, the world's foremost organization dedicated to commemorating the spirit of invention, on Sept. 15. With this honorable distinction, Scotchgard protection will be ranked among a host of remarkable, world- changing inventions, including Velcro, the laser, AM radio, diabetes testing, the elevator and the telephone. The duo will join the ranks of such influential figures as Alexander Graham Bell, The Wright Brothers and Walt Disney, who are among the 158 honorees thus far inducted.

With their breakthrough, Sherman and Smith developed the first form of soil protection for household materials used worldwide for apparel, carpet, upholstery and other domestic fabrics. According to officials at the Hall of Fame, "Scotchgard treatments are so common in carpeting, upholstery and clothing that most of us don't remember a time when spilling a glass of red wine left a stain that couldn't be removed." Research shows that 97 percent of American consumers know the name, making it one of the most recognized brands. An astounding 90 percent of carpet made in the United States now has some built-in protective treatment, pioneered by these two scientists.