When 3M began in 1902, five founders of the company had a simple goal: to mine for corundum, a mineral ideal for making sandpaper and grinding wheels. Turns out, what they thought was corundum was really another low-grade mineral called anorthosite.
Discovering the poor-quality mineral could have caused an early end to the fledgling company, but the founders persisted. Why? Because something more important was born that first year: the spirit of innovation and collaboration that forms the foundation of 3M today. So instead of calling it quits, 3M turned to different materials, applied them to other products, gained the trust of important investors and built up sales little by little.
Today, more than 60,000 3M products are used in homes, businesses, schools, hospitals and other industries. One third of the sales come from products invented within the past five years, thanks to innovations from the thousands of researchers and scientists we employ around the world.
With corporate operations in 70 countries and sales in 200, 3M is committed to creating the technology and products that advance every company, enhance every home and improve every life.