Overlooked No More: Bette Nesmith Graham, Who Invented Liquid Paper

A struggling secretary created a concoction that relieved her and others around the world from the pressure of perfection.

Comments: 10

  1. The mass majority of baby boomer that watched the Monkees knew what the mutton chopped sideburn, knit hat wearing Michael Nesmith mother invented.
    Because the NYT did not cover her in the obituary section in May 1980 only reinforce what Bette Nesmith Graham said.
    “And so women have to just keep on with their determination and be relentless. We have to not relent.”

  2. former secretary here. the worst part of the job was the interview where they asked yr typing speed or gave a test which you were supposed to ace with a score of 60 wpm. that showed how fast you could copy a text, but copying was rarely part of the job. what was important was transcribing, and as a pro at that I'd say the best one can do is about 40 wpm or the same as a skilled hunt-&-pecker can do! what a joke! but there were always typos on the carbons & for that, thank you witeout a million times!

  3. Wow, such an inspiring story. These 'Overlooked' series has been one of the most significant work done by the Times recently. Kudos, keep it up!

  4. Thank you so much for this information. As a Monkees fan growing up, I liked to "amaze" friends by telling them that Mike Nesmith's mother invented liquid paper. However, I wondered about the back story of this. I appreciate your filling in the blanks and can now admire her fortitude and fight.

  5. The NYT has set a high bar for recognizing women. The overlooked approach is sooooi much better than, oh say, the McDonalds upside down M.

    Love you NUC obits

  6. When I got my first job I remember Liquid Paper "saved me" a number of times. I was a mediocre typist and thanked the heavens when computers came into the mix with "backspace delete." Most Monkees fans knew about Mike Nesmith's mom but this article is excellent in giving us the back story about her.

  7. what a great inspirational woman. and she's right, most men are ignorant.

  8. I LOVE this series. It’s one of the best, and most creative, series the Times has ever done. Congrats on great work!

  9. Love this. #ShePersisted.

  10. What a Fantastic success story. Sad that she died so young.