In 1953, Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three began research in a small lab in San Diego, California to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry.
After 40 attempts to get the water-displacing formula worked out, they perfected the original secret formula for WD-40® Multi-Use Product-which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try. This amazing formula is still in use today.
Convair, an aerospace contractor, first used WD-40 to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. Because it worked so well, employees snuck some WD-40 cans out of the plant to use at home.
A few years later, Rocket Chemical Company founder Norm Larsen experimented with putting WD-40 into aerosol cans, reasoning that consumers might use the product at home just as the Convair employees had. WD-40 Multi-Use Product made its first appearance on store shelves in San Diego in 1958.
In 1960 the company nearly doubled in size, growing to seven people. This team sold an average of 45 cases per day from the trunks of their cars to hardware and sporting goods stores in the San Diego area.
In 1961 the first full truckload order for WD-40 was filled when employees came in on a Saturday to produce additional concentrate to meet the disaster needs of the victims of Hurricane Carla along the U.S. Gulf coast. WD-40 was used to recondition flood- and rain-damaged vehicles and equipment.
WD-40 was starting to get a bit lonely as the only product, so in 1995, WD-40 Company acquired the 100-year-old brand 3-IN-ONE® Oil from Reckitt & Coleman. 3-IN-ONE, with its precise applicator spout, made a wonderful match for WD-40.
After 50 years, WD-40 Company proudly introduced BLUE WORKS®-a line of industrial grade, specialty maintenance products that surpass industry standards and deliver superior performance under the toughest conditions.
Now, WD-40 Company is proud to introduce WD-40® Specialist®, a line of superior performing specialty maintenance products designed to meet specific needs of professional users.