Zippers – How Did They Start?

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Zippers can be considered as one of the simplest but most ingenious inventions that were ever made. These fasteners play a big part of people’s lives. You can find them on your clothes, your suitcases, your backpacks, and even your tent. It isn’t even too much to say that they are vital to your day to day life just any other simple inventions out there. But, did you ever wonder who made the zippers and how they came to exist in the first place?

The first person who was able to patent the zipper in 1851 was also the man behind the creation of the sewing machine, none other than Elias Howe. But, he did not actually bother or try to get it off the ground, maybe because his invented sewing machine was such a big hit already. The concept got stowed away for more than four decades until another inventor, Whitcomb Judson, tried to market it. The zipper was originally debuted during the 1983 World’s Fair. However, it still didn’t create a buzz even then.

At around the same time that he debuted the zipper at the World’s Fair, Judson also started his Universal Fastener Company with Gideon Sundback hired as one of his engineers. After several years of hard work, Sundback came up with the modern zipper in year 1913. This only means that the modern zipper is actually less than 100 years older than your smartphone! Isn’t it incredible how far technology has come for the past 100 years? Unfortunately, Sundback was not the one who thought of the fun and clever zipper. It was B. F. Goodrich Company that came up with the name instead.

In the beginning, the zipper was used for closing boots and tobacco pouches. It is funny that something as valuable as the zipper originally gained a reputation on the back of tobacco. If you will think about it, there are not a lot of products that gained popularity through vices.

It was actually in men’s fashion when the zipper has finally found their way to clothes. These days, it is almost rare to see pants for men that don’t have zippers. It is even safe to say that men wear zippers on them daily more than buttons. Interestingly enough, when it first started, there were several skeptics who worried about the disarray that it may cause on men’s clothing. Now, it remains to be a mystery how they came to such a conclusion. The most probable reason for this is the fact that people tend to fear change and that includes even such an unimportant change like adding zippers to garments.

Today, zippers have become the most commonly used fasteners in the world as its practicality exceeds any other fasteners out there. Clasps, buttons, or other types of fasteners usually leave openings. This is why zippers are the only way to fasten something and keep it closed off.

Be sure to visit for zippers that will not only meet your expectations and suit your projects but will also remind you of the long and interesting history that these fasteners have gone through.


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