1914

3M releases its first profitable product, an abrasive cloth that strips paint and rust from cars.

The Elek-Tro-Cut™ Three-M-ite™ Abrasive Cloth becomes a bestseller with automakers and repair shops.

African-American inventor Garrett Morgan patents a gas mask, which is later used to rescue workers from a tunnel blast under Lake Erie.

The masks eventually are produced for the U.S. Army.