Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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History of WD-40

Research into previous 39 needed
  (+5, -2)
(+5, -2)
  [vote for,

WD-40 is indeed the wonder substance of the millennium. But whatever happened to the previous 39 formulations? I suspect that there is a long and fascinating story to be told here, starting at the very dawn of history.

The invention of the wheel, I conjecture, was the spur to the development of a rudimentary concoction of mammoth blubber, crushed berries and mud: WD-1 is born.

It is clear that, from that early time onward, the wonder lubricant has gone from strength to strength, but much research will be needed to fill the gaps in this breathtaking tale.

Mickey the Fish, May 09 2002

Catch-18 - oops, I mean Catch-22 http://school.disco...atch22/answers.html
[hippo, May 10 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

WD-40: Our History http://www.wd40.com...Us/our_history.html
Close, but not as thorough as you want... [gb2000, May 10 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]

Heinz 57 varieties http://www.straight...lassics/a1_195.html
Yup, it's all an Illuminati conspiracy. (Also mentions a 40-foot-long electrified pickle.) [pottedstu, May 10 2002, last modified Oct 17 2004]


       The '40' has alway been the same, it's the 'WD' that changed. First there was A-40, B-40... Z-40, then AA-40, AB-40...   

       Fish, did you vanish from the planet? Seems like dog years since you've made your scaly presence known.
waugsqueke, May 09 2002

       Then Heinz 57, Formula 409, Chanel No. 5, Grecian Formula 16....
phoenix, May 09 2002

       Windows 2000 (man, you'd think they'd have gotten it right by about version 75 or so...)
beauxeault, May 09 2002

phoenix, May 09 2002

       "Does WD-40 offer sponsorship opportunities? We are no longer accepting requests for sponsorships for 2002. The next opportunity to apply for a sponsorship will be in October 2002, for the 2003 program." Buggar it.
po, May 09 2002

       Was Dr. Pepper known as Orderly Pepper before...?
thumbwax, May 09 2002

       ", Windows 98 was doing OK... a little unstable, but OK. I'm impressed that MS hammered away at 1902 different iterations thereafter to improve on things."   

       And STILL couldn't come up with anything better...   

       WD stands for 'Water Displacement'. The number is the formula tried. 'WD-40' means 'Water Displacement formula number 40'. It was the first one that worked well enough.   

StarChaser, May 10 2002

       Torn from a past issue of the HB:   

       "A true mechanic needs only two tools:
WD 40 to make things go,
and duck tape to make things stop."
reensure, May 10 2002

       This gets my vote, even if only because it brings back memories of my grandfather - he consistently referred to it as WD-20, despite the fact that he used it almost every day in his work.
salachair, May 10 2002

       I always call the stuff UB40 !
po, May 10 2002

       I've often wondered: does Catherine Zeta Jones have 23 siblings.. Mary Alpha Jones, Gordon Beta Jones, etc.   

       Also, in Ben Hur, have you noticed, just before the chariot race, while they're greasing the axles, there is a small clay pot inscribed WD-XVI.
Mickey the Fish, May 10 2002

       Ah! Le retour du Mickey les Poissons - What a pleasant surprise!
In response to [phoenix] - there was a mention on radio the other day of the original title for "Catch-22" - I can't remember exactly, but it was something like "Catch-17" - It's bugging me now.
hippo, May 10 2002

       (later) ... It was Catch-18 - see link.
hippo, May 10 2002

       Beverly Hills 90210... That's a lot of duff pilots.
Mickey the Fish, May 10 2002

       Actually, Heinz stole the idea for Heinz 57 from a shoe company that actually did make 57 varieties of shoe.
[ sctld ], May 10 2002

       ah rave I see it. 5 +1 = 6, 7-1=6, +6 > 666 spooky - trust YOU to notice oh spooky one.
po, May 10 2002

       Notable developments in the WD line:   

       WD-2. sheep snot.
WD-3. Vinegar and olive oil. Now a tasty dressing.
WD-8. Okra.
WD-10. The discovery of Proto-custard. (You don't 'invent' a substance as fundamental to science as custard, you 'discover' it.
WD-35. Eventually became the foundation for Miracle-Whip, tofu, and axle grease.
WD-36. A complete failure as a lubricant, but found alternative successes as marshmallow cream and 'Hysol' aerospace glue.
WD-37. Yellow #5.
WD-38. Mello Yello.
RayfordSteele, May 11 2002

       WWW.D40...The lubricant that keeps the internet from falling off its wheels. (And keeps a few cogs around the Bakery working, too.)
jurist, May 11 2002

       Yay and verily ALL HAIL WD-40. An excellent line of reasoning by the half bakers. Are there really a bunch of invalided bakers who drag themselves around on the hands in the Half Bakery?
Peticelli, Oct 14 2003


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