This week's Tombstone Tuesday is dedicated to WD-40 mastermind, John S. Barry, who passed away on July 3 at the age of 84.
John S. Barry 1925-2009 (LA Times photo)
The petroleum-based lubricant was originally created back in the 1950s to protect rocket parts from rust and corrosion. Thanks to Barry's marketing genius it's now a must-have household product that can be found in upwards of 80% of American households, not to mention countless grave hunter tool kits.
Customers have discovered over 2,000 uses for WD-40, with "protects and polishes bronze grave markers" and "helps clean oxidization from bronze grave markers" making the official list.
Here's how it works, using the headstone of actress Carole Landis as an example:
The top photo shows how I found Carole's bronze marker when I visited her at Forest Lawn Glendale in November 2005. The bottom two show how it looked after brushing off the dirt and spraying a light coat of WD-40.
It's important to note that WD-40 should only be used on bronze-type markers, never marble or other porous materials.
No information is currently available about Mr. Barry's final resting place. However, I think it's safe to say that if he is marked in bronze, grave hunters such as myself will use his product to keep it preserved as the years go by, as a way of saying thank you.