In 1913, Gideon Sundback, a Swedish American electrical engineer, improved on Judson's concept by increasing the number of teeth per inch from four to ten or eleven. A good zip, however, has always rested on swiftly joining a two-part base by inserting a pin into its matching box and then pushing up the slider. Sundback's invention was a success from the beginning because it allowed for the assembly of buttons without having to use a hand-operated sewing machine.
Today, zippers are used in almost all clothing that is sold in retail stores. They can be found on jackets, dresses, pants, and even shoes. Zippers have also been used since their introduction for items such as luggage and packages. In fact, around 95% of all packages now come with a zipper rather than a button or snap. Even though they are used everywhere today, there are some products that cannot be zipped - this is where magnets come in handy! Magna-Zip® technology uses magnetic attraction to hold together pieces of fabric or other material that would normally be separated by a zipper.
Sundback's invention continued to evolve after his death in 1973. In 1980, Victor Company of Japan created a zipper that was designed to be heat-sealed along its bottom edge so that it could not be opened. This new type of zipper was named "heat-sealable" or "hot-melt".
Whitcomb L. Judson and Gideon Sundback Zipper are the inventors. Whitcomb L. Judson was an American mechanical engineer who patented several inventions, including the zipper in 1913. He also founded the Sundback Company which manufactured his inventions.
Zippers are made by sewing two pieces of material together with threads and needles or teeth. Then they are attached to each item that is to be closed up, such as jackets, bags, and boxes. Finally, the zipper track is soldered, glued, or clipped into place.
Judson originally designed the zipper for use in clothing. It started out as a replacement for buttons, which were too easy to undo by children. It also had the advantage of not requiring any metalworking skills to create; just file down some edges and you have a functional zipper.
Today, zippers are used in many other products as well, such as luggage, backpacks, and furniture. They can also be found on certain types of shoes and gloves. Zippers have become so important in today's world that many companies spend a lot of money advertising their products using zippers as an example of how innovative they can be.
Despite subsequent revisions, the firm created by Judson and Walker, Universal Fastener, never truly succeeded in marketing the device. The zipper became popular in 1913, after a Swedish-American engineer, Gideon Sundbach, redesigned Judson's fastening into a more streamlined and dependable shape. Before that time, people had used buttons or snaps to close their clothes.
Judson died in 1916 at the age of 47, leaving the company to his partners. They continued to struggle until 1923, when they hired Olin Goldsmith as their new president. Under Goldsmith's leadership, the company developed strong ties with other clothing manufacturers who agreed to use its zippers in exchange for discounts on their products. In 1926, Universal Fastener was sold to the Wards Company for $4 million. Wards quickly dropped its other brands and focused solely on selling zippers, which led to great success. By 1930, half of all clothes worn in America were closed with a zipper.
In 1941, during World War II, the United States government ordered all zipper closures removed from garments, with the exception of those used by the military. This was done to prevent spies from using zippers to hide guns or drugs. After the war ended, zippers once again became popular and companies such as The Zippered Garment Industry Council were formed to help promote this new type of closure.
Several persons contributed to the development of the zipper as we know it today, but it was Swedish-born Gideon Sundback who improved on the prototypes of his predecessors and created the zipper we use today. He filed for patent #63837 on August 2, 1900.
Although he was American by birth, Sundback settled in Sweden where he worked at the Bolle factory making clothing. He invented the zipper because he wanted to make his clothes last longer, especially since most of them were being destroyed through garment cleaning processes at the time. He took his invention to the Swedish Clothes Manufacturing Company (Kontholms) where he was employed but they weren't interested in buying it from him. So, he went to the United States looking for investment money but failed miserably so he returned to Sweden where he lived out the rest of his life in poverty.
Even though he never got rich and died in obscurity, the fact that the zipper has become one of this century's most important inventions proves that Gideon Sundback did something right with his life.
Sundback is credited with developing the first practical and dependable zipper design. Early zippers were also plagued by bad marketing. The "Judson C-curity Fastener," "The Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure," and, of course, Sundback's "Hookless No. 2" were among them.
In 1910, Georg Jensen created the first modern zipper package, which included a zipper that could be closed and locked. This new closure system was an immediate success and is still in use today. Although it took time for the zipper to become popular, it is now found on almost all clothes sold in the United States.
About this time, the word "zipper" became popularized through the Judson Company's advertising campaign. In one ad, a husband asks his wife how she likes her new dress with the zipper up the back. The wife replies, "Heavenly!" The husband then asks, "And what else?" To which she answers, "Nothing else!"
This example shows that even at the beginning, people knew about zippers for more than just opening doors.
After learning about this history class, we wondered: Why did Gideon Sundback invent the zipper? We decided to do some research and here's what we found out: Sundback invented the zipper because he wanted to make our clothing more affordable for Americans.
Whitcomb L. Judson was a Chicago-based inventor who conceived and built a functional zipper. The technique, which is still in use today, is based on interlocking teeth. It was first used on a pair of pants he designed in 1881.
Judson's invention made its way into popular culture through a cartoon published in The New York Times on July 2, 1941. The cartoon showed a boy modeling two pairs of pants with different zippers, saying "They're called zip up pants." The phrase caught on, and now refers to any pair of pants with an elasticized waistband.
In 1945, the United States government granted Judson a patent for his invention. He later sold the patent to the Victor Company for $85,000. Today, the patent is owned by M&J Trading Co. which purchased it from Victor in 1994.
Judson died at the age of 63 in Chicago due to complications from diabetes.
Sources: Paul Graham's list of famous inventors.
The Judson Pneumatic Street Railway was founded by him. Judson is well known for inventing the ubiquitous zipper. Originally, it was known as a clasp-locker. The earliest application was as a shoe and high boot fastening. ...
|Whitcomb L. Judson|
|Spouse(s)||Annie Martin ( m. 1874)|