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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Product typeCorrection fluid
OwnerSociété Bic (1992-present)
Related brandsLiquid Paper, Tipp-Ex
Previous ownersWite-Out Products, Inc.
Registered as a trademark inUS (1974)

Wite-Out is a registered trademark for a brand of correction fluid, originally created for use with photocopies, and manufactured by the BIC corporation.


Wite-Out dates to 1966, when Edwin Johanknecht, an insurance-company clerk, sought to address a problem he observed in correction fluid available at the time: a tendency to smudge ink on photostatic copies when it was applied. Johanknecht enlisted the help of his associate George Kloosterhouse, a basement waterproofer who experimented with chemicals, and together they developed their own correction fluid, introduced as "Wite-Out WO-1 Erasing Liquid".

In 1971, they incorporated as Wite-Out Products, Inc. The trademark "Wite-Out" was registered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office on February 5, 1974.[1] The application listed the date of "first use in commerce" as January 27, 1966.

Early forms of Wite-Out sold through 1981 were water-based and hence water-soluble. While this allowed simple cleaning, it also had the problem of long drying times. The formula also did not work well on non-photostatic media such as typewritten copy.

The company was bought in 1981 by Archibald Douglas. Douglas, as chairman, led the company toward solvent-based formulas with faster drying times. Three different formulas were created, each optimized for different media. New problems arose: a separate bottle of thinner was required, and the solvent used was known to contribute to ozone depletion. The company addressed these problems in July 1990 with the introduction of a reformulated "For Everything" correction fluid.

The French corporation Société Bic acquired Wite-Out Products in 1992.[2]

In 2017, sales of Wite-Out grew nearly 10 percent globally with AdWeek suggesting that the increase in sales was due to artists using the fluid as paint.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Word Mark WITE-OUT". USPTO. 1974. Retrieved 2006-09-27. Registration Number 0978134
  2. ^ "Acquisition of Wite-Out® 1992". BICWorld. Société BIC S.A. Retrieved 18 February 2019.
  3. ^ Graham, David A. (2019-03-19). "Who Still Buys Wite-Out, and Why?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2019-03-20.