Monday, April 29, 2013

100th Anniversary of the Zipper!

animation of zipper
Animation of zipper created by Dominique Toussaint,
Wikimedia Commons
What would we do without that clever invention, the zipper? We lose buttons, but zippers don't go anywhere, though they can get stuck :(  But we rely on this device everyday to keep our clothes fastened on us, not to mention keep our luggage closed and our lips sealed (zip your lip!).  So, who thought of this first? A hundred years ago, Gideon Sundback received the first patent for a "Separable Fastener" by the US Patent Office, which was the first working zipper. The name "zipper" was coined, however, at the B.F. Goodrich Co. in 1923 when they started using zippers for boots. It wasn't until another twenty years that zippers were used for other products such as clothing. Apparently, it took awhile for the public to get used to this novel invention and it had to be tweaked several times before it became widely accepted. Having perfected it, Sundback gave us a uniquely useful tool that helps us keep it all together.

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