TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How did WD-40 get its name?

In 1953, a fledgling company called Rocket Chemical Company and its staff of three set out to create a line of rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for use in the aerospace industry, in a small lab in San Diego, California.

It took them 40 attempts to get the water displacing formula worked out. The original secret formula for WD-40—which stands for Water Displacement perfected on the 40th try—is still in use today.