Tanglefoot Company


Organization
1885
Description
Founded in 1885 in Grand Rapids by William Thum, a Pharmacist.  Originally a manufacturer of fly-paper with a patented sticky adhesive.  The company also manufactured and sold tanglefoot, an adhesive for use on trees to prevent pest damage.

William Thum founded the business that became Tanglefoot in 1885. They developed an adhesive using castor oil, resins and wax. The blend didn't soak through the paper backing, and lasted longer than its competition. The Thums patented the design in 1887, launched a plant in Grand Rapids, and soon were shipping fly paper around the world. 

As pesticides and lower insect numbers reduce the demand for fly paper, the company's primary product, it shifted towards devlopping green gardening products.  In recent years this has allowed the company to see some resurgence as the organic market has expanded.

 

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