History of the zipper

Posted on Mar 9, 2022      333

Who invented the zipper?

Most of the useful and necessary inventions that humanity currently uses in ordinary life were invented for a reason. And, if you imagine they would vanish, it would be extremely difficult without them. For example, without what is unreal to imagine a briefcase or a bag, a pencil case or pants? Yes, without a zipper. If you think for a moment that if it were not there.... It would be extremely inconvenient.

Totally random inventions often become the most necessary ones. The inventor of the first sewing machine, tailor Elias Howe, in 1851 invented a new zipper that looked nothing like today’s zipper. It resembled two chains with hooks and holes, which were attached to one another by a movable metal “tongue” as a paper clip. On the surface, the first clasp was unsuccessful, and no one liked it. So the tailor continued sewing more clothes, but he forgot about the idea of the invention.

After 44 years, this invention, also by chance, became interesting to Whitcomb Judson, the American inventor. He wanted to help his friend, who had a bad backache after he had saved a child in a fire and had jumped out the window. Because of his bad back, Judson’s friend could not bend over to lace up his shoes. That’s how the shoe buckle was “born. But even that, like Howie’s tailor invention, was not to people’s liking - it was uncomfortable, stuck, and broke. And yet Judson claimed his rights to this invention in 1891, but it did not bring him fame and money.

But Gideon Sundback, being a Swedish-American engineer and inventor, patented the first zipper which was used in the manufacture of clothing.

And 15 years later, the fortune with these zippers visited Judson’s former companion. It was Gideon Sundback, who turned the old, uncomfortable zipper into a new, more comfortable version of the zipper. It already resembled the zipper we see on clothes and bags nowadays, and over time it gained in popularity.

It is noteworthy that the most fashionable detail in the clothing of modern man's zipper became in 1937 because of the designer Jean Claude. He, jokingly, applied a zipper instead of buttons on men’s pants. And the male half of the population liked it so much fastening and unbuttoning of pants, that since then they have been fastened only with a zipper.

That’s how, almost a century later, people realized the importance of such a seemingly simple zipper!