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Fascinating facts about the invention of Duct Tape by Johnson & Johnson Co. in 1942. DUCT TAPE
Adhesive tape (specifically masking tape) was invented in the 1920's by Richard Drew of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Co. (3M). Duct tape (the WWII military version) was first created and manufactured in 1942 (approximate date) by the Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division. Its closest predecessor was medical tape.
The original use was to keep moisture out of the ammunition cases. Because it was waterproof, people referred to the tape as "Duck Tape." Also, the tape was made using cotton duck - similar to what was used in their cloth medical tapes. Military personnel quickly discovered that the tape was very versatile and used it to fix their guns, jeeps, aircraft, etc. After the war, the tape was used in the booming housing industry to connect heating and air conditioning duct work together.
Soon, the color was changed from Army green to silver to match the ductwork and people started to refer to duck tape as "Duct Tape." Things changed during the 1970s, when the partners at Manco, Inc. placed rolls of duct tape in shrink wrap, making it easier for retailers to stack the sticky rolls. Different grades and colors of duct tape weren´t far behind. Soon, duct tape became the most versatile tool in the household.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
Chemistry History   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:

The Jumbo Duct Tape Book
by Jim Berg, Tim Nyberg, Tony Dierckins / Paperback - 464 pages (2000) / Workman Publishing Co.

Forget everything you may have read or heard about duct tape. Compiled from a lifetime's obsession, The Jumbo Duct Tape Book is a magnum opus of nuttiness. If you duct tape you hands to the front
and back covers of this book, you'll find it almost impossible to put down!

Duct Shui
by Jim Berg, Tim Nyberg / Paperback - 224 pages (May 2002) / Workman Publishing Co.

East meets West meets Duct Tape. Stumbling headfirst into the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui, The Duct Tape Guys emerge totally bewildered-but not before creating their own breathtakingly crazy philosophy.
Ductigam : The Art of the Tape
by Joe Wilson / Paperback: 86 pages / Boston Mills Press (May 1999)

Ductigami: The art of the tape is simply the best duct-tape book ever written. It has fourteen highly
detailed and very well explained projects, with examples on every page.

Got Tape?: Roll Out the Fun With Duct Tape!
by Ellie Schiedermayer
/ Paperback: 48 pages / Krause Publications (January 2002)
Although it is a huge stretch to call duct tape a fiber, public libraries with demand for inexpensive craft projects may be interested in this project book. The 25 projects include full-size patterns and step-by-step instructions.
The Duct Tape Book ( This title is out of print. )
by Tim Nyberg (Illustrator), Jim Berg / Paperback - 123 pages (September 1994) / Tim Nyberg
Duct Tape Book Two: Real Stories ( This title is out of print. )
by Jim Berg, Tim Nyberg / Paperback (August 1995) / Pfeifer-Hamilton Pub

ON THE WEB:
History of Adhesives
The first evidence of a substance being used as an adhesive dates back to 4000 B.C.
(URL: www.henkelca.com/student/)
Jim and Tim, the Duct Tape Guys
Everything you need to know about Duct Tape and we mean everything. Fun site. POP-UP ADS.

(URL: www.ducktapeguys.com)
Duck® brand Stuck at Prom Scholarship Contest
This unique scholarship opportunity gives students the chance to be innovative and original with their prom attire, while saving the money typically spent on flashy, expensive gowns and tuxedo rentals.
(URL: www.ducktapeclub.com/contests/prom/rules.asp/)
Duct Tape Art Gallery
This creative arsenal includes a world-famous duct tape art gallery, prose, thoughts, poetry, art, music, adventures in linguistics and more. Much of the contents are slightly off-the-wall, hence the name of the site, Quirkz.com.
(URL: www.quirkz.com/index.html)
Duct Tape Fashion
Have you ever seen anyone walking down the street, the hall, or at a party wearing something made of Duct Tape?
(URL: www.ducttapefashion.com/)

HOW IT'S MADE:

Duct tape is a strong tape that is composed of three layers. The top layer (1) is a resilient plastic (Polyethelyne). The bottom layer (3) is a rubber-based adhesive. The middle layer (2) is a fabric mesh. Duct tape was manufactured by pressing these three layers together. Now, some manufacturers have created a process that makes the same strong, three layer tape in just one step. While there are stronger tapes (like filament tape), duct tape, when doubled over onto itself can pull a 2000 lb. car out of a ditch, and has the distinct benefit of not requiring any other tools to cut it - you just rip it with your bare hands.

WORDS OF WISDOM:
"One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop."
--G. Weilacher

DID YOU KNOW?:

  • You can find duct tape in a range of colors. A whole line of "plain" colors like red,
    yellow, green, blue, brown, and black, and "Xtreme" colors (like the dayglow colors of the seventies); blaze orange, lime green, citron yellow, and (a favorite of the ladies) hot pink! Duck® brand has a “Camo Tape” which has a “real tree” camouflage design that is great for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Thre are at least eight companies in the United States and Canada that manufacture duct tape. Most of the duct tape that is sold into the consumer market is distributed by Duck® brand. Duck® brand Duct Tape is manufactured by Shurtape Technologies in Hickory, North Carolina. Some other duct tape companies are Nashua, 3M, Anchor, Tessa, Tuck, and Polyken.
Duck® brand Tape is a registreed trademark of Henkel Consumer Adhesives, Inc.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised April 5, 2006.
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