Formica Corporation was founded in 1913 by two researchers who discovered a better way to replace an existing product. Herbert A. Faber and Daniel J. O’Conor found that by using high pressure and plastic resins, high quality insulation materials for the booming electrical industry could be readily manufactured. Up until that point, other manufacturers were making the same products out of the minerals mica. Thus, Faber and O’Conor coined their products “Formica®”.
In 1927, Formica patented a new and more efficient rotogravure printing process for making decorative, wood-grained or marble-surfaced laminate. Developed during months of trials by Formica’s George H. Clark and Jack D. Cochrane, it was the first of many products that have made the name “Formica” virtually synonymous in the public mind with the stuff of which restaurant tables and kitchen countertops are made.