Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Separable Fastener? Just Zip It Up!

On this day long ago, the fashion industry was changed. It didn't actually recognize that such a change was happening when Gideon Sundback patented the zipper in 1913.

The fashion world first took notice when the zipper was used for children's clothing twenty years later. But I'm jumping ahead of myself. Let's look at the beginning.

The history of the zipper began with Elias Howe of sewing machine fame, patented, but did not market, the "automatic, continuous clothing closure" in 1851. Then Whitcomb Judson of pneumatic street railway fame, actually sold a "clasp locker" that he patented in 1893. When Gideon Sundback's wife died, he focused on improving the previous designs and came up with the "Separable Fastener," which was really the zipper, almost the same one that we know today.

Sundback's fastener was first used in rubber boots until the 1930's when the aforementioned children's clothing came to market. In 1937, flies finally graduated from button-up to zippered. And, well, I guess you know about zippers today.

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1 comment:

Diane J Standiford said...

Grommetts, not much change there either. Hmmmm