Zipper Day

April 29, 2013

Happy Zipper Day!

Oh Zippers, How wonderful it is when you work. How disastrous it is when you don’t!

Here’s some information I found about the zipper from inventors.com.

Mr. Whitcomb Judson is credited with the being the ‘Inventor of the Zipper’, However, his 1893 patent did not use the word zipper. The Chicago inventor’s ‘Clasp Locker’ was a complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener. Together with businessman Colonel Lewis Walker, Whitcomb launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture the new device. The clasp locker had its public debut at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and met with little commercial success.

The popular ‘zipper’ name came from the B. F. Goodrich Company, when they decided to use Gideon’s fastener on a new type of rubber boots or galoshes and renamed the device the zipper, the name that lasted. Boots and tobacco pouches with a zippered closure were the two chief uses of the zipper during its early years. It took twenty more years to convince the fashion industry to seriously promote the novel closure on garments.

In the 1930’s, a sales campaign began for children’s clothing featuring zippers. The campaign praised zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress in self-help clothing. The zipper beat the button in the 1937 in the “Battle of the Fly,” when French fashion designers raved over zippers in men’s trousers. Esquire magazine declared the zipper the “Newest Tailoring Idea for Men” and among the zippered fly’s many virtues was that it would exclude “The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray.” Obviously, the new zippered trouser owners had not yet discovered the experience of forgetting to zip-up. The next big boost for the zipper came when zippers could open on both ends, as on jackets. Today the zipper is everywhere, in clothing, luggage and leather goods and countless other objects. 

The original patent application diagram from Mr. Judson.

The original patent application diagram from Mr. Sundback in 1917.

Also…If you zipper says YKK? It stands for Yoshida Kogyo Kabushibibaisha, which is the world’s largest zipper manufacturer.

 

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