Innovator: ALVIN BOESE
Discovery: Nonwoven fibers (decorative ribbon, cleaning pads, filters, insulated apparel)
Fascinated by nonwoven technology and its potential applications, Al Boese experimented in the 3M lab for years until he developed Sasheen decorative ribbon, a huge hit when it was launched in 1950. A few years later, 3M "married" nonwovens to abrasives to produce Scotch-Brite® scrubbing and polishing pads. Later innovations stemming from Boese's initial exploration of nonwoven technology led to oil sorbents, Thinsulate™ thermal insulation for apparel, industrial respirators, and filters for residential and commercial buildings.