With the start of World War II, Nick realized auto parts would be scarce during wartime and began to research alternative products to sell. Nick identified the need for a nonflammable product to absorb oil from the floors of factories and garages that were doing war work. Through knowledge acquired at mining school, Nick thought Fuller’s Earth, a calcium-based clay, could be used in lieu of flammable sawdust because of the mineral’s highly absorbent properties. He placed a 10-ton order of Fuller’s Earth through Sinclair Refining and had it shipped to his home.

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