The lint roller, or brush, was invented in 1956 by Nick McKay Sr., an electrical engineer and entrepreneur. He and his wife began a company called Helmac Products Corporation in the basement of their home and sold the product under the name, The Lint Pic-Up.
The lint roller was a clever invention created out of necessity. Nick and his wife Helen had plans to chaperon a college dance, but Nick had forgotten to take his suit to the dry cleaner. Thinking quickly, he wrapped masking tape around a paper core and attached a wire clothes hanger for a handle, and then he rolled the makeshift device across his clothes to remove the lint.