facts about the invention
of Velcro by George de Mestral in 1948.
of years, man has walked through fields of weeds and arrived home with burrs stuck to his
clothing. Its amazing no one took advantage of the problem until 1948. George de
Mestral, a Swiss engineer, returned from a walk one day in 1948 and found some cockleburs
clinging to his cloth jacket. When de Mestral loosened them, he examined one under his
microscope. The principle was simple. The cocklebur is a maze of thin strands with burrs
(or hooks) on the ends that cling to fabrics or animal fur. By the accident of the
cockleburs sticking to his jacket, George de Mestral recognized the potential for a
practical new fastener. It took eight years to experiment, develop, and perfect the
invention, which consists of two strips of nylon fabric. One strip contains thousands of
small hooks. The other strip contains small loops. When the two strips are pressed
together, they form a strong bond. VELCRO, the name de Mestral gave his product, is
the brand most people in the United States know. It is strong, easily separated,
lightweight, durable, and washable, comes in a variety of colors, and wont jam.
TO LEARN MORE
History of Apparel from The Great Idea Finder
ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Kid Who Invented the Popsicle: And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999) / Puffin
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident,
from animal crackers to the zipper.
by Charlotte Foltz Jones, John O'Brien (Illustrator) / Paperback - 48
pages (1994) / Doubleday
Recounting the fascinating stories behind the accidental inventions of forty
familiar objects and products.
Why Didn't I Think of That?: Bizarre
Origins of Ingenious Inventions We Couldn't Live Without
by Allyn Freeman, Bob Golden (Contributor) /
Paperback - 224 pages (1997) / John Wiley & Sons
Inventions chronicles the odd origins of famous products,
explores how these inventions changed our lives, and reveals the business side of their
production and distribution.
Accidental Discoveries in Science
by Royston M. Roberts / Paperback: 288 pages / John Wiley & Sons, 1 edition (June 28,
Many of the things discovered by accident are important in our everyday lives:
Teflon, Velcro, nylon, x-rays, penicillin, safety glass, sugar substitutes, and
polyethylene and other plastics.
ON THE WEB:
This Velcro company site defends the name Velcro and sells hook and loop fasteners.
Who is George de
History page from Velcro Brand products
Hall of Fame
George de Mestral Born Jun 19 1907 - Died Feb 8 1990) was inducted in
1999 for his invention Velvet Type Fabric and Method of Producing the
Same Velcro. Patent Number
History of Plastics
We all know the many ways that plastics contribute to our health, safety and peace of
mind. But how did the material plastic come about?
Invention of Velcro ® brand Fasteners
De Mestral, along with help from friends in the weaving business,
finally duplicated mother natures hook and loop fastener in the
manufacturing plant. The result of his new invention was Velcro ®.
DID YOU KNOW:
- George de Mestral received his first
patent at age 12 for designing a toy plane.
- In 1951, George de Mestral applies to the Swiss government for
a patent for his hook and loop fastener.
- In 1952, Velcro S.A., the first of all Velcro companies, is
established in Switzerland.
- U.S. Patent No. 2,717,437 issued September 13, 1955
to George de Mestral for
Velvet Type Fabric and Method of Producing The Same.
- In 1957, American Velcro Inc., opens in Manchester NH, where
many textile workers live. Hook and loop are manufactured on looms called "shuttle
looms". American Velcro has an original idea in the United States market. United
States customers interested in using the product have to buy from American Velcro because
they are the only company with the special patent.
- George de Mestral's invention is usually called "hook and
loop tape." The "hook tape" has stiff little hooks on it, while the
"loop tape" is soft and fuzzy. Together, they're called a "hook and loop
fastener" or a "touch fastener."
- So, what exactly is "Velcro"? It is actually the
name of a group of companies and it is a trademark owned by Velcro Industries, but it is
not the hook and loop product itself. This means today, only the Velcro companies make
genuine VELCRO® brand hook and loop fasteners, while other companies make hook and loop
- The word "Velcro" came from the French words for
velvet, "velour", and hook, "crochet".
and VELCRO with FLYING-V® are registered trademarks of Velcro Industries
Sources in BOLD Type
page revised January 12, 2006.
Berners-Lee's invention has revolutionized the world like nothing
The invention of the Internet,
should be classed with the greatest events of the 20th Century.
The Aero Sport All-Terrain Bed
with Dual Power Pump is the perfect addition to any camping trip or weekend
book, is the perfect desktop reference for both the science novice and the
technologically advanced reader alike.
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