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What would we do without tape?

Masking tape, transparent (cellophane) tape, duct (or duck) tape… we use tape when we paint, wrap gifts, mend things, and create clothing.  Yes clothing!  My daughter made a dress from duck tape for her junior prom – it is quite the competition.  Where did it all begin?

Image from Wikimedia Commons, author: Improbcat; 2008

An engineer by the name of Richard Drew is credited with the invention of both a masking tape (1925) and a transparent cellophane tape (1930) during his time with the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company (3M).  His patent application was filed on May 28, 1928 and he was granted the patent  (#1,760,820) on this date, May 27, 1930.

Richard has been highlighted by the Lemelson-MIT Program, Inventor of the Week and in 2007 was inducted into the Inventor’s Hall of Fame.  In an Adhesives & Sealants Industry article, also from 2007, it was expected  that the worldwide market for pressure-sensitive tapes and labels to reach nearly $97 billion.

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