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The History of Sharpies

The story starts in 1857, when Frederick W. Redington and William H. Sanford, Jr. founded Sanford Manufacturing Company in Worcester, Massachusetts to produce ink and glue. The company moved to Chicago in 1866 and endured for many years through various challenges, including multiple fires and the Great Depression. In 1940, the company was renamed Sanford Ink Company. Then in 1964, the company introduced the Sharpie marker. The Sharpie Fine Point black marker was the first pen-style permanent marker on the market and was endorsed by celebrities like Johnny Carson and Jack Parr. In 1979, the company introduced the Sharpie Extra Fine Point marker in four colors. Thanks in part to a memorabilia industry valued at $5 billion, Sharpies became even more popular in the 1990s. Between 1997 and 2002, five new Sharpies debuted and new colors were rolled out. Between 2002 and 2005, six new product lines were released and 12 more colors were introduced. Today, Sharpies are used for everything from signing autographs to creating colorful art projects.

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