In these days of “it’s old / new when it comes out” how do some things have staying power beyond comprehension. Take the ZIPPER for example, challenged by buttons, buckles and Velcro, the zip just will not go away. The man who invented the sewing machine, Elias Howe, received a patent the “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure” in 1851. Sewing machines were probably his priority, so fifty years later Whitcomb Judson marketed a “Clasp Locker” and he receives the credit of “Inventor of the Zipper.” However, his patent was launched at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair with little success. Gideon Sundback, a Swedish electrical engineer, was hired to work for the Judson’s Universal Fastener Company. And he designed the modern zipper in 1913. The patent for the ‘Separable Fastener’ was issued in 1917.
The name ZIPPER name came from the B. F. Goodrich Company, when they utilized it in their 1925 rubber boot, the name came from the sound the fastener made, and by the 1930’s the zipper was key ingredient in clothing design.
Since 1934 Tokyo’s YKK Group has been the most famous zipper manufacturer, YKK stand for the Japanese company Yoshida Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha (Yoshida Manufacturing Corporation.) The letters “YKK” have been stamped onto the zippers’ pull tabs, and has become the Company’s trademark. YKK has manufacturing facilities in 68 countries and the largest is in Macon, GA, USA producing 1,200 miles of zippers each day.
There are not a lot of light bulb type inventions anymore, will the smart phone last that long? … smart money goes with the zipper.