Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Removes a Boa Constrictor stuck in engine compartment of cars


John Barry, chief proliferator of WD-40, has died at the age of 84.
Mr. Barry was fiercely dedicated to protecting the secret formula of WD-40, not to mention its trademarks and distinctive container. The company never patented WD-40, in order to avoid having to disclose the ingredients publicly. Its name became synonymous with the product, like Kleenex.
Mr. Barry brought marketing coherence and discipline to the company. He spruced up the packaging and increased the advertising budget, but most of all he pushed for distribution. He emphasized free samples, including the 10,000 the company sent every month to soldiers in the Vietnam War to keep their weapons dry.
People’s enthusiasm for sending in ideas for using WD-40 mushroomed under Mr. Barry. The uses included preventing squirrels from climbing into a birdhouse; lubricating tuba valves; cleaning ostrich eggs for craft purposes; and freeing a tongue stuck to cold metal.
Mr. Barry is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Marian Irving; his sons, Randy and Steve; his daughter, Deborah Faneros; and four grandchildren.

Read the rest of the New York Times' obituary here and browse a list of over 2000 uses for WD-40 at

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