Zippers: Small Inventions with Big Uses
The zipper is one of the most remarkable inventions that modernized human civilization. Everyone uses zippers in everyday life such as in clothing, luggage, tents and so much more. No other alternative to zippers has been invented yet.
So, how did the zipper become what it is today?
History of Zippers
Elias Howe, the maker of the sewing machine, had received a patent in 1851 for an appliance called An Automatic Continuous Clothing Closure, which had an equivalent function to the modern-day zipper. Unfortunately, it never came to fruition.
Another inventor, Mr. Whitcomb L. Judson, received the second patent in 1893. He developed the device called Clasp Locker. Judson modified the zipper mechanism and created hookless fasteners for shoes and boots. He tried to market it through the Universal Fastener Company.
The Swedish-born Canadian electrical engineer Gideon Sundback was known for his excellent design skills, making him Universal Fastener Company’s top designer. Together with wife Elvira Aronson, Judson was engaged in refining the zipper mechanism.
The couple dedicated themselves to inventing the new zipper. Sadly, however, Sundback’s wife passed away in 1911. Sundback was disheartened and completely engrossed himself to continue the rest of the task.
While many people tried to enhance the quality of zippers for a long time, the Sundback couple’s attempt became successful in 1913. In 1917, a patent was issued to make a better fastener. Following this, Sundback also upgraded the manufacturing machine for the new zipper.
When World War I came, military and Navy designers acquired zippers for backpacks and military jackets, eventually helping the respectability of the strength of the device. It is also mentionable that B.F.Goodrich Company came up with the name zipper and introduced it to the world for the first time in 1923.
It was in 1936 Erich Heilmann began the Zip fastener production but Opti-lon was the one that developed the world’s first mass-produced nylon spiral zip fastener in 1955.
Today, zippers have become the most extensive fasteners applied to clothing, leather goods, luggage, camping gear, fashion accessories, and many other objects. Zippers also find quite popular applications in various fashion products such as jackets, trousers, bags, jeans, pants, tents, and others.
Zipper mills currently produce zippers daily to cater to the needs of consumers. Zippers have also become more available right now due to the unbelievable patience of many investors, thanks to the practical efforts of the many different prominent zipper inventors.
Zippers also have five major parts, namely the teeth, tape, stopper, runner, and slider. Some of the primary advantages of zippers include:
- Zippers are very easy to close and open, not to mention that they are also durable.
- The opening of a garment can be closed or open much faster when it has a zipper instead of other types of closures.
- Zippers are easier to match with the different garment colors.
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