The first company to use WD-40 commercially was Convair, an aerospace contractor, to protect the outer skin of the Atlas Missile from rust and corrosion. The product worked so well that several employees snuck cans of WD-40 out of the plant in their lunchboxes to use at home.
A few years later, Rocket Chemical Company founder and president Norm Larsen experimented with putting WD-40 into aerosol cans, reasoning consumers might also find a use for the product in their home workshops and garages.
Since the early days of the space race when workers snuck WD-40 Multi-Use Product out of the shop in their lunchboxes, WD-40 Company has grown to almost 450 employees worldwide, with annual sales over $380 million.
WD-40 Company’s global corporate headquarters, brand support center, research and development center and its Latin America office are all located in the United States. Outside the United States, WD-40 Company has wholly owned subsidiaries in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia and China, as well as several offices and brand support centers throughout Europe. WD-40 Company products are marketed and sold in more than 176 countries and territories around the world.
WD-40 is a household name, used in numerous consumer and industrial markets such as automotive, manufacturing, sporting goods, aviation, hardware and home improvement, construction, and farming.
Some of the more memorable uses of WD-40 Multi-Use Product include the bus driver in Asia who used it to remove a python snake which had coiled itself around the undercarriage of his bus, and the police officers who used WD-40 Multi-Use Product to remove a naked burglar trapped in an air conditioning vent. If you would like to explore more fun facts of the blue and yellow can, click here.
The familiar blue and yellow can with the little red top has been featured in numerous books over the years, including The WD-40 Book (Adventure Publications 1997), The Big Damn Book of Sheer Manliness (General Publishing 1997), Polish Your Furniture With Panty Hose (Hyperion 1995), WD-40 for the Soul: The Guide to Fixing Everything (TV Books 1999), and Talking Dirty With the Queen of Clean (Pocket Books 2004).