Mar 31, 2009

The Invention of the Hookless Fastener

March 31, 1896, Whitcomb Judson proudly introduced his "Clasp Locker Device." It was, to the best of my memory, a take-off on the "Automatic Continuous Clothing Closure" Elias Howe patented in 1851 which never really caught on, probably because of its name. Unfortunately, Whitcomb's "Clasp Locker Device" isn't very catchy, either, poor guy. Whitcomb already had about a dozen patents to his name and put a lot of hope in this one, first demonstrating it at the Worlds Fair three years before putting it into production.
15 years later, Gideon Sundback, a Swede made it smaller, lighter, & more reliable and he called his the "Hookless Fastener." Now the thing began to sell. The Army began using it in World War I on their clothing and gear and printed an "Instruction Manual on the Use and Maintenance of the Hookless Fastener." In 1919 and again in 1924, different companies began manufacturing the hookless fastener and as it became much more trustworthy that it wouldn't pop open while you're wearing it, a Parisian fashion designer began backing it.
Today, you probably have hundreds of hookless fasteners in your home. Have you guessed it?
B.F. Goodrich is credited for coining the term "zipper" because of the noise it made on the galoshes they were producing, when his company got ahold of the hookless fastener.
Unfortunately, Whitcomb Judson died in 1909 and never heard the term "Zipper." Think about ol' Whitcomb today as you carelessly zip your way through the day.


driftwood said...

Wow Val, you say "it was, to the best of my memory, that....". This seems to me to mean that you were living at that time which would make you over 113 years old. You sure look good for your age. Were you once somebody else and have been reincarnated?

Zippy said...

What would I use for a name if someone had not invented the name: ZIPPER.

I'd hate to sign things CLAPS LOCKER DEVICEy or, worse, the HOOKLESS FASTENERy.

Grumble, grumble----

Poof said...

Heee he he he he. Yes, I'm that old. I look goooooood, don't I?

Zippy, you really lucked out. It's all in the name.