Tapes People Love To Use
If you were to look in any given "junk drawer" you would probably find at least one kind of adhesive tape such as cellophane tape or masking tape. Most people own several different kinds of tape because we use different types for different jobs. Tape as we know it has been around for decades-masking tape was invented in 1925. You may own duct tape, electrical tape, basting tape (for sewing) and even floral tape. Adhesive tape has really become a part of our every day lives. We use it for everything from repairing a book to medical procedures. So, let's take a closer look at what is old-and what is new, in the world of adhesive tape.
Although people have been using natural adhesives like beeswax for centuries, it was not until the mid-1800's that American inventor Henry Day invented the first tape-like product. In the twentieth century, with the proliferation of synthetic materials like nylon, cellophane, and other products, there are now dozens and dozens of kinds of tape used for every type of task and in nearly every aspect of our lives.
A Touch Of Humor
There is a bit of "adhesive tape" humor associated with the invention of masking tape. Auto workers were looking for something that they could mark the paint lines on cars that would not damage the paint when it was removed. A scientist named Richard Drew was charged with the responsibility to invent a tape to fill the need. He made an adhesive tape that had an adhesive that was not overly sticky, but that would hold enough to do the job. The problem was that, in order to save money, the manufacturers only put the adhesive on the two edges of the tape and not in the middle. The auto workers complained loudly about this "Scotch" tape in a reference to the Scottish reputed reputation for frugality. The adhesive tape soon had adhesive applied to the whole surface.
Richard Drew invented another very popular adhesive tape as well-cellulose tape-which is also called "Scotch" tape for obvious reasons. It now comes in many different styles, finishes, sizes and even colors. You can get a matte finish, which seems to "disappear" when applied, and glossy, you can even get some with decorative designs to spruce up packages or envelopes. It even comes in a double-sided variety with adhesive on both sides. It comes in disposable dispensers, rolls that you can put in permanent dispensers, and now, even handy dispensers which allow you to take one small piece of adhesive tape at a time.
What's Its Use?
Some job specific tapes include electrical tape which is used for repairing frayed wires or taping off ends of wires. Basting tape is an adhesive tape used by seamstresses to hold a hem or a seam when they are prepping an article for sewing. Medical tape can be used instead of stitches to allow physicians to seal an incision so that they can go back in if necessary-or to hold a cut together so that it can heal.