SlickSticks has a colorful past to say the least! We have a long tradition of trying our hand (and our luck) in many different endeavors. From hard luck to just downright misfortune and finally on to success, we have trial and error down to a science! Our founders had quite the experience on their way to creating the best removable wall decals you’ve ever seen! Here’s a bit of information about the geniuses behind the magic;
CORNELIUS Q. SLICK
Cornelius Slick was quite the character. He had a tremendous drive to succeed, unfortunately, he also had more than his share of unusual experiences along the way. Born in 1898 in Baltimore, Slick was both an entrepreneur and a self proclaimed “master salesman”. This statement is up for debate. Cornelius always seemed to have a revolutionary idea. Among his inventions were the five sided wheel, dehydrated water and the book on how to read.
Cornelius Slick with a chair
After investing everything he owned in dehydrated water, Cornelius only made one sale, to a man named Beauford Stickman. The product failed to sell and both were financially ruined. Cornelius decided to head west and seek his fortune in California.
Slick's Dehydrated Water
Cornelius’s path took him to some unfamiliar places and some even more unusual circumstances.
In 1923, Cornelius was forced to work for a logging company. By coincidence, Beauford Stickman had also taken employment there. Slick is credited with the creation of the blade less axe. Both were subsequently fired for general incompetence, but for differing reasons.
Slick's Blade-less Axes
In 1924, Slick, continuing to move west, took a job with the railroad. He was charged with supplying the miners in the tunnels. He invented the double-wick candle which gave off double the light but burned out in half the time. This also presented a problem due to the fact that Cornelius suffered from extreme flatulence. With double the flame exposure, Slick himself could not be very close to one of his candles because of the explosive hazard he posed. He was terminated for gross idiocy.
Slick's Double Wick Candle
Beauford Stickman, born in 1900 in Little Rock, AK was a simple man that had a dream to be somebody. He had been picked on his entire childhood because he never wore shoes. At the age of 16, Stickman made his way north working odd jobs and collecting a small amount of money. In 1922, Stickman met Cornelius Slick and entered into a business venture with him which failed miserably.
Beauford Stickman (right) with brother Cleatus
After losing everything he had, Stickman decided to move west. This decision was made independently from Cornelius Slick. Cornelius, ironically, wound up working in the same logging camp where Beauford was fired for accidentally setting the forest on fire with a cigarette.
The aftermath of the infamous "Stickman Cigarette Firestorm"
After the carnage in the forest, Beauford Stickman continued on west. He encountered various obstacles and challenges.
In early 1924, Stickman joined a cattle drive as the cook. A mysterious case of botulism broke out and killed all but 2 members.
Cowboy suffering from botulism
In late 1924, Beauford was able to join a wagon train headed through the Sierra Mountain range. The winter was horrible and they soon ran out of food and were forced to eat their own dead. Coincidentally, Cornelius had found his way onto this same wagon train. It was rumored that Beauford could cook buttocks so well that Cornelius came out of the mountains 10 pounds heavier than when he went in.
Artist's depiction of the 1924 "Sierra Culinary Event"
When winter ended and the party finally made it to California, Slick and Stickman once again parted ways. Slick began again with various business prospects, with limited to no success. He began raising livestock and was able to scrape together a living. He came up with the idea to not only use the animals for meat, but to also create adhesives from the unusable parts. He wound up with barrels and barrels of high grade adhesive but absolutely no use for it.
Slick's adhesive storage
He generated enough income from his meat business to purchase a modest fixer-upper. He did most of the structural repairs himself but was unable to coordinate the interior.
Stickman was an altogether different story. He began to hit the local saloons. And he hit them hard. It is said that he would order a bottle of whiskey and then begin to critique the interior design of the watering holes. Because of this odd behavior, Stickman was the subject of much ridicule and was publicly humiliated numerous times. He suffered many brutal beatings, but his love for interior design could not be extinguished. On one occasion when Beauford had had more than enough to drink the bartender told him he should go into business as an interior decorator, and so he did. He posted an add in the paper the very next day.
Beauford Stickman’s first customer, ironically, was Cornelius Slick. Slick was so mesmerized with Stickman’s flair and eye for decorating that he knew these two must once again form a partnership.
Slick knew the lines he wanted to travel along. The two set forth creating designs from animal hides (which were produced from Slick’s livestock) and made them available in different sizes and shapes. The original SlickSticks were held up with nails which had a tendency to rust and cause tetanus.
Original Cowhide Slickstick
Original Slickstick "Adhesive"
Then it hit Slick- The two entrepreneurs would use the surplus of adhesive he had stockpiled! The adhesive proved to be wonderful for the task, it was easily applied and removable. The duo expanded their designs to include cowhide, pigskin, sheepskin and horsehide (not the most popular). As time went by, the sales took off. The two began experimenting with other mediums and no longer used animal hides. They attempted to use woods, metals, glass (which didn’t agree with the original adhesive) and canvases made of a blend of dried grasses and cattle manure (which was not a big hit for indoor applications).
It is obvious that these two were destined for each other. It took A LOT of trial and error, but they finally got it right. Their legacy lives on today with the SlickSticks brand.