Mothers of Invention: Bette Nesmith Graham

MothersOfInventionAs the saying goes, “necessity is the mother of invention.”  In the late 1940’s single mother Bette Nesmith was an executive secretary at Texas Bank and Trust in Dallas.  To cover up her typing mistakes she mixed a batch of tempera water-based paint to match the company’s stationery.  She used a thin paint brush to “paint over” her mistakes and her boss couldn’t tell the difference.

BetteNesmithGrahamBette Claire McMurray was born on March 23, 1924 in Dallas, Texas to parents Jesse and Christine (Duval) McMurray.  Raised in San Antonio, she married Warren Audrey Nesmith before he departed to serve during World War II.  Their son, Robert Michael Nesmith, was born on December 30, 1942.  Folks of a certain age will remember him as a member of The Monkees and cast member of a television show of the same name.


NOTE: This article is being re-purposed and will be included in a special edition of Digging History Magazine. Digging History is now a monthly digital (PDF) magazine.  This article will be included in a future edition of Digging History Magazine. Check out the latest issue here: or try a subscription here.

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