The 3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul. With $30 billion in annual sales, 3M employs 88,000 people worldwide and produces more than 55,000 products, including: adhesives, abrasives, laminates, passive fire protection, personal protective equipment, dental and orthodontic products, electronic materials, medical products, car-care products (sun films, polish, wax, car shampoo, treatment for the exterior, interior and the under chassis rust protection), electronic circuits, healthcare software and optical films. 3M has operations in more than 65 countries including 29 international companies with manufacturing operations and 35 companies with laboratories. 3M products are available for purchase through distributors and retailers, and online directly from the company.
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Five businessmen founded 3M in Two Harbors, Minnesota, in 1902. Originally a mining venture, the goal was to mine corundum, but this failed because the mine's mineral holdings were anorthosite, which had no commercial value.Co-founder John Dwan solicited funds in exchange for stock and Edgar Ober and Lucius Ordway took over the company in 1905. The company moved to Duluth and began research and producing sandpaper products.William L. McKnight, later a key executive, joined the company in 1907, and A. G. Bush joined in 1909. 3M finally became financially stable in 1916 and was able to pay dividends.
The company moved to St. Paul in 1910, where it remained for 52 years before outgrowing the campus and moving to its current headquarters at 3M Center in Maplewood, Minnesota in 1962. The new Maplewood campus is 475 acres (1.92 km2) and has over 50 buildings, including an Innovation Center that displays products 3M has taken to market.The company began by mining stone from quarries for use in grinding wheels. Struggling with quality and marketing of its products, management supported its workers to innovate and develop new products, which became its core business. Twelve years after its inception, 3M developed its first exclusive product: Three-M-
The company's late innovations include waterproof sandpaper (1921) and masking tape (1925), as well as cellophane "Scotch Tape" and sound-deadening materials for cars.
In 1947, 3M began to producing PFOA by electrochemical fluorination. During the 1950s, the company expanded worldwide with operations in Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, and the United Kingdom in large part by Clarence Sampair.
In 1951, DuPont started purchasing PFOA from then-Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company for use in the manufacturing of
In 1951, international sales were
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, 3M published a line of board games, largely under the "3M bookshelf game series" brand. These games were marketed to adults and sold through department stores, with easily learned simple rules but complex game play and depth and with uniformly high-quality components. As such, they are the ancestors of the German "Eurogames". The games covered a variety of topics, from business and sports simulations to word and abstract strategy games. They were a major publisher at the time for influential U.S. designers Sid Sackson and Alex Randolph. In the mid-1970s, the game line was taken over by Avalon Hill.
3M traffic signals installed in Shelton, Washington. Standing off-axis from the intended viewing area, these signals are invisible to adjacent lanes of traffic in daylight. (A faint glow is visible at night.)
The same two signals above, taken in the signal's intended viewing area (a single lane of northbound traffic). Special light-diffusing optics and a colored fresnel lens create the indication.
3M's Mincom division introduced several models of magnetic tape recorders for instrumentation use and for studio sound recording. An example of the latter is the model M79 recorder, which still has a following today. 3M Mincom was also involved in designing and manufacturing video production equipment for the television and video post-production industries in the 1970s and 1980s, with such items as character generators and several different models of video switchers, from models of audio and video routers to video mixers for studio production work.
3M Mincom was involved in some of the first digital audio recordings of the late 1970s to see
In 1980, the company introduced Post-it notes. In 1996, the company's data storage and imaging divisions were spun off as Imation Corporation, now called
Today, 3M is one of the 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (added on August 9, 1976), and is 97 on the 2011 Fortune 500 list. The company has 132 plants and over 67,000 employees worldwide, with sales offices in over 200 countries. The vast majority of the company's employees are local nationals, with few employees residing outside their home country. Its worldwide sales are over $20 billion, with international sales 58% of that total.
In 2002, 3M Co. agreed to acquire AiT Advanced Information Technologies Corp. for about $37.4-million in cash, after AiT had strongly hinted it had put itself on the auction block.
On December 20, 2005, 3M announced a major partnership with Roush-Fenway Racing, one of NASCAR's premier organizations. In 2008, the company sponsored Greg Biffle in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as he drove the No. 16 Ford Fusion. In addition, on February 19, 2006, 3M announced that it would become the title sponsor of the 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway until 2011.
On April 4, 2006, 3M announced its intention to sell its pharmaceutical non-core business. The pharmaceuticals businesses were sold off in three deals, in Europe, the Americas, and the remainder of the world. Another division of the Health Care business, Drug Delivery Systems, remains with 3M. The Drug Delivery System division continues to contract manufacture inhalants and transdermal drug-delivery
On August 30, 2010, 3M announced that they had acquired Cogent Systems for $943 million.
On October 13, 2010, 3M completed
3M follows a business model based on "the ability to not only develop unique
On January 3, 2012, it was announced that the Office and Consumer Products Division of Avery Dennison
In March 2017, it was announced that 3M was purchasing Johnson Control International Plc's safety gear business, Scott Safety, for $2 billion.