January 31, 2017

On January 31, 1930 3M revealed it’s now ubiquitous Scotch tape. In my humble opinion, engineer Richard Gurley Drew should be enthroned in the Inventors Hall of Fame as the inventor of Scotch Tape, masking tape, and the all-encompassing duct tape. Scotch Tape got its name when Drew was experimenting to find out the optimal amount of adhesive to use. His test subject was a body shop painter, who after testing many samples exclaimed, “Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it.” The name stuck. No pun intended. Drew was working for 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) when he developed the Scotch line of tapes. All this happened in the mid-1930s. During the Great Depression. 3M fared well during this time because people who couldn’t afford a plumber or an electrician began duct taping things together, a tradition that survives to this day.

Perhaps it is in honor of Scotch Tape Day that the sellotape selfie has become an internet phenomenon.


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