When it came to fixing typos, a secretary in Dallas figured out a little dab’ll do ya.
Make No Mistake
Sixty years ago and decades before backspace keys did any deleting, Dallas secretary Bette Nesmith Graham used a kitchen blender to start the Mistake Out Company, selling a concoction she invented for typists: Liquid Paper, or white-out.
She sold her first batch in 1956, then sold her thriving business to the Gillette Corp. for $47.5 million in 1979, a year before her death.
Did You Know?
Nesmith’s son, Michael, is the original guitar player for The Monkees.
Pan Am Derailed
On October 27, 1891, Boston capitalists created the Pan American Railway Company with the ambitious goal of connecting Victoria, Texas, with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Victoria residents eagerly offered $150,000 for the project.
Almost a year later, 10 miles of line reached the Guadalupe River. With no funds to build a bridge over the river, the project came to a halt. The track was abandoned, and the Pan American Railway, a grand idea 125 years ago, never operated a train.
By the Numbers
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill creating the U.S. Department of Transportation on October 15, 1966. Fifty years later, the U.S. has 4,177,074 miles of public roads. Texas has the most with 313,596.
“[Electric telegraph] will never be a substitute for the face of a man, with his soul in it, encouraging another man to be brave and true.”— Charles Dickens
Your Wallet on Standby
After you’ve laid waste to zombies, aliens and mr_ghost93 from Kentucky, and switched off your gaming console for the night, your Playstation, Wii or Xbox can do some damage of its own if left plugged in.
Of the total $1 billion that American gamers pay annually in gaming-related utility bills, $400 million comes from consoles on standby. A Natural Resources Defense Council report translates that number into 10 billion to 11 billion kilowatt-hours of usage each year.