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What would we do without tape?

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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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