WD-40 is a well known and widely used multi-purpose spray useful for a wide range of purposes, including removal of dirt, getting jammed screws and bolts out, loosening zippers and many other household uses.
The name “WD-40” comes from Norman Larsen who invented the spray in 1953. It stands for “Water Displacement, 40th formula”, implying the spray’s basic properties as well as the many attempts it took Norman to finally create the perfect formula.
Norman was the founder of the Rocket Chemical Company and the reason behind inventing WD-40 was to avoid rust and corrosion on the thin balloon tanks of the Atlas missile they had in storage. Over the years it turned out that WD-40 had many different household uses and became available for the public in 1958.