Invention of Duct Tape

Extensive research debunks the myths and uncovers the facts about the invention of duct tape.

Invention of Duct Tape

Copyright 2012 G.L. Kiecker

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Preface
If you do an internet search for the “invention of duct tape” or “history of duct tape”, you will discover many websites and blogs that offer information on the subjects. You will also discover that the story from each of these sources is almost exactly the same, picked up and passed along from one to another with very little original research. The story they tell, in a nutshell, is this: Duct tape was invented by a division of Johnson & Johnson company in 1942 in response to a special request by the U.S. government for a waterproof tape that could seal ammunition cases. You will learn as you read the slides in this document that J&J played an important role in the development of duct tape. But the credit for the first duct tape really belongs to a competitive company that introduced the product in 1921. And the tape that J&J supplied to seal ammunition cases in World War II wasn’t invented in 1942 by special request. It was actually introduced by J&J in 1933 and was the idea of a famous inventor outside of the company. Because of J&J’s role in developing duct tape several of the following slides provide information about the J&J subsidiary responsible for industrial tapes. This subsidiary experienced several name changes but was best known as Permacel Industrial Tapes. The information contained in the following slides was researched over a period of several months. It is presented in timeline fashion. Comments and questions are welcome and may be sent via email to the researcher and author: NetSearch@comcast.net

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1845 First pressure-sensitive adhesive tape invented.
Duct tape can trace its origins to 1845. In this year, William H. Shecut and Horace H. Day are issued U.S. patent No. 3965 for an “Improvement in Adhesive Plasters.” In the 1800s (and through the 1930s) fabric based, medical adhesive tapes are called adhesive plasters. The new adhesive plaster has two benefits over existing products. Most importantly, it is the first pressure-sensitive adhesive tape. This means that the india-rubber based adhesive requires only light finger pressure to adhere it to the skin. Previous adhesives required heat activation prior to application. Second, small holes are punched into the fabric backing. This allows perspiration and excretions to escape from the wound rather than be retained under the bandage. (1) The rights to the patent are sold to Thomas R. Allcock, a British born druggist living in New York. He manufactures and sells the product as Allcock’s Porous Plaster, which remains popular until the end of the century. (2)
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1899 Improved adhesive formula grows popularity of adhesive plasters.
Several new manufacturers enter the adhesive plasters market during the second half of the 19th century and the quality of the tape continues to improve. As popular as they are, the early tapes often cause skin irritation. The next major advance in the adhesive tape business comes in 1899 when Johnson & Johnson adds zinc oxide to the adhesive formula. This sharply reduces skin irritation and gives the tape much stronger sticking qualities. J & J calls their improved product Z.O. (Zinc Oxide) or Zonas adhesive plaster. (3) Competitors follow with their own versions and zinc oxide adhesive plasters become a common household item. And as household penetration grows, consumers find more and more uses for the tape other than medical applications. “Innumerable are the things…that may be mended with it.” (4)
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1918 Manufacturers advertise adhesive plasters for mending and repairs.
It’s the end of World War I, and major manufacturers of medical supplies -- like Johnson & Johnson and Bauer & Black -- are beginning to run magazine advertisements for their adhesive plasters. The main message of the ads is not medical applications, however. Instead, the ads tout the “thousands of uses” that the tape has for mending and repairing items around the house. For more than twenty years, civilians have been discovering the “thousands of uses” on their own. Undoubtedly, WWI doughboys found even more uses for the tape on the frontlines. Now it is time for manufacturers to make everyone aware of this versatile and utilitarian product.

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1918 Bauer & Black Claims Tape Is “Strong and Enduring.”
Shown to the left, is an example of the magazine ads run by Bauer & Black for its adhesive plaster. The ad explains: “This is a fabric tape, one side of which is ever-sticky rubber. Surgeons use it for attaching bandages, for holding splints and strapping pains. Millions of yards are used yearly for every day repairs.” Adhesive plaster is “A rubber-coated tape. Strong and enduring. It sticks to anything that’s dry and stays stuck. It mends anything, and mends it firmly, whatever the material.” The ad lists and illustrates several uses for the tape.
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1918 J &J Claims Tape “Mends Everything.”
Shown to the left, is an example of the magazine ads run by Johnson & Johnson for its adhesive plaster. The ad is bordered by several illustrations showing the tape in use. The copy reads: “Zonas mends everything. Every time you turn around you find a new use for Zonas Adhesive Plaster.” The ad lists several dozen specific applications including: patching electric wires and connections, reinforcing the grips on golf clubs and tool handles, stopping leaks in rubber boots and bicycle tires, and weather sealing doors and windows.

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1921 The first duct tape is introduced by Bauer & Black.
B&B takes their standard adhesive plaster and adds new positioning and improvements. This tape deserves the distinction as the first duct tape for several reasons: > The product has a unique name, Tirro, and is specifically positioned as “The Ideal Mending Tape.” > The tape is not one of the “old-style tapes” that were “makeshift, made for something else.” In other words, it is better than existing adhesive plasters that are principally sold as medical tapes and secondarily promoted for household repair and mending tasks. > The fabric backing is “extra-strong.” * > The fabric backing has been “…water-proofed to form an impervious wrap.” * > The rubber-based adhesive is “…ever-sticky. It clings to any surface that is clean and dry.” > The tape has been made a grey color to visually differentiate it from existing white adhesive plasters. > The product launch is supported in 1921-22 with an extensive print advertising campaign. * Note: None of the advertising explains the “extrastrong” or “water-proofed” claims in detail.

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1921-22 Examples of advertising for Tirro Mending Tape.
Shown here and on the next slide are several of the print ads that ran in 1921-22 to support the launch of Tirro Mending Tape.

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1920s Roll sizes very small compared to today’s duct tape.
The most common size of adhesive plaster sold in the 1920s is 1” x 1 yard, or about 36 square inches. It is sold primarily in drug stores and is packaged in small metal tins to help keep the rubber adhesive from drying out. If you search for “adhesive plaster” on ebay you will find many of these vintage tins, with a variety of brand names, available for purchase. Today, a common size of standard duct tape is 2” x 60 yards, or 4,320 square inches – exactly 120 times greater in size than 1920’s adhesive plaster.

Druggist endorsement from 1918 B&B magazine ad.
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1925 Masking tape is invented.
The first non-medical tape with pressuresensitive adhesive is introduced. It is a paper-backed masking tape invented by Richard G. Drew, a laboratory technician with 3M Company in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (5) Drew is inspired to develop the tape after observing the spray painting of automobiles in a body shop. The shop workers had been using off-the-shelf adhesive plaster for paint masking with very poor results. Drew’s patent application describes the many “marked objections” to the use of adhesive plaster for this purpose. (6) 3M eventually licenses the right to make masking tape to other manufacturers, including Industrial Tape Corporation, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Company. ITC will call their product Permacel masking tape.
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1928 Tirro Tape disappears after B&B acquisition.
Bauer & Black is acquired by one of its major competitors: the Kendall Company located in Walpole, Massachusetts. Kendall makes B&B a division within the company. (7) B&B’s Tirro Tape has had very few references in magazines or books since its initial advertising campaign in 1921-22. The fate of Tirro Tape after the acquisition is unknown. After World War II, around 1949, Kendall will reorganize all of its industrial tapes into the Polyken Industrial Tape Department, a business unit within the B&B division. Polyken becomes a well known duct tape brand and still exists today. (8)

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1930 Cellophane tape is invented.
The first cellophane-backed packaging tape with pressure-sensitive adhesive is invented by Richard G. Drew of the 3M Company. The product is called Scotch brand Cellulose Tape (latter changed to Cellophane Tape). (9) Drew had observed the growing popularity of seethrough cellophane as a wrapping material for candy, cigarettes and food products. He invents cellophane tape as a quick sealing solution for cellophane that doesn’t detract from the appearance of the package. (5) 3M eventually licenses the right to make cellophane tape to other manufacturers, including Industrial Tape Corporation, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Company. ITC will call their product Texcel cellophane tape. The invention of paper-backed masking tape in 1925 and cellophane-backed packaging tape in 1930 begins to put a major dent into the use of cloth-backed adhesive plaster for non-medical applications. Cellophane tape, in particular, will become the go-to tape for American households for mending and repairing items during the Great Depression years.
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Richard Drew

1930 (approximate date) Famous inventor has idea for waterproof adhesive tape.
Dr. Leo Baekeland is the famous inventor of Velox photographic paper and Bakelite plastic. Around 1930, he has an idea to make water-proof surgical dressings and tapes. He has recently visited a nursing home and notices how dirty surgical dressings and tapes become. They have to be removed often merely because they collect dirt on the outside. “It occurred to me,” recalls Baekeland later in 1935, “that washable plasters and dressings would be a great boon. We can treat woven fabrics with flexible phenolic resinoid which will stand washing with soap, or other cleaning compounds.” Baekeland has “another idea” for a water-proof fabric that is processed with a special Bakelite resinoid. It could be used for raincoats, book covers, garden upholstery and shower curtains and would be better in several ways to rubber-treated fabrics. Baekeland begins experimenting and testing these concepts. He calls the plastic-coated, waterproof tape Drybak and refers to the fabric as Revolite. Soon, Baekeland will take these ideas to Johnson & Johnson Company, a leading producer of medical products and located very near the Bakelite Corporation headquarters in New York. (10) (11)
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1932 Johnson & Johnson introduces Drybak..
The collaboration between Bakelite Corporation and Johnson & Johnson comes to fruition with the introduction of water-proof, Drybak adhesive plaster. Also launched is a Band-Aid version of the product in a new “sun tan color to be less conspicuous.” Both companies promote the new product with advertising. A short article in the new products section of Business Week says, “Johnson & Johnson think their new Drybak adhesive plaster is the greatest advance in such things in 25 years. The backcloth is a special fabric, impregnated to be waterproof. The smooth surface and suntan color make it stay clean longer. The waterproof factor makes it useful outdoors as well as surgically.”

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1932 J &J forms Revolite Corporation; introduces Revolite fabric.
Revolite Corporation is formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Johnson & Johnson Company. Its mandate is to collaborate with the Bakelite Corporation to develop, produce and market a new, waterproof fabric called Revolite. The product is introduced later in the year. An article in the Rubber Journal is typical of the coverage in many trade magazines at the time: “A new, flexible, water-proof cloth called Revolite just made its debut in the USA. It is the result of extensive research in the laboratories of the Revolite Corporation of New Brunswick…..and the Bakelite Corporation. A year ago, the Johnson & Johnson Company introduced the Drybak Band-Aid, a surgical dressing that is waterproof and inconspicuous in colour. It met with instant favour, and sales have been increasing steadily. Following the success of the Band-Aid, the same process, with some slight variations, has now been adopted by the Revolite Corporation for manufacture of a flexible, waterproof fabric. In treating the cloth, Bakelite Resinoid is forced into the material, so that it becomes an integral part of the fabric.”
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1933 Revolite Corporation introduces an improved duct tape called Utilitape.
The Revolite Corporation’s first priority is to work with the Bakelite Corporation to develop a waterproof fabric, but it is also charged with the responsibility to create a line of industrial tapes for the company. This effort had begun six years earlier, in 1927, within a division of J&J. Revolite inherits from J&J a few existing tapes to begin its product line. The oldest one is called Nurserymen’s tape which is a cloth wrap used for tree grafting. Two tapes are cloth-backed masking tapes sold to auto body shops. One is called Jonflex tape and the other Industrial tape. Jonflex is a fine cloth masking tape and Industrial is similar but with a heavier and coarser back cloth for heavy duty jobs. Now, the corporation introduces a new tape called Utilitape. The backing for the tape is Revolite fabric that is coated with a rubber-based adhesive and slit into various widths and lengths. True to its name, the product is positioned as a general utility tape for household and sports use. It is also offered in a variety of colors. (12)

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1937 Revolite Corporation changes name to Industrial Tape Corporation and sells its fabric business.
Revolite Corporation sells its Revolite fabric business to Atlas Powder Company, Wilmington, Delaware. In 1955, Atlas Powder sells the business to RaybestosManhattan, Inc. Revolite Corporation refocuses its efforts on the development of a line of industrial tapes. The company also announces that it will change its name to Industrial Tape Corporation (ITC). The name change is to be effective January 1, 1938. ITC will continue as an independent subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Company. (13)

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1941 Tape production redirected to war effort.
At the start of World War II, U.S. manufacturers redirect their production lines to the needs of the government and the war effort. This includes all the major makers of adhesive tapes including 3M Company and Industrial Tape Corporation (ITC). By this time, ITC’s product line has expanded to include the following tapes: > > > > > > > Jonflex – fine cloth masking tape Industrial – coarse cloth masking tape Permacel – paper backed masking tape Utilitape – waterproof cloth utility tape Electape – Bakelite coated, cloth electrical tape Metacel – metal foil backed tape Texcel – cellophane backed transparent tape

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World War II Duct tape legends.
Several legends about the invention and history of duct tape emanate from World War II. These stories have been picked up and passed along from writer to writer with very little original research. The next several slides will examine three of the most frequently published legends:

Duct tape legend #1
Duct tape was invented by a division of Johnson & Johnson in 1942 in response to a special request by the U.S. government for a water-proof tape that could seal ammunition cases.

Duct tape legend #2
Soldiers often use duct tape for emergency repairs of weapons and equipment on the front lines.

Duct tape legend #3
Duct tape is originally called Duck tape by the soldiers in World War II.

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World War II Duct tape legend #1: Duct tape is invented in 1942 by a division of Johnson & Johnson.
Industrial Tape Corporation runs a magazine advertising campaign in 1945 with the headline “Do you know…?” The ads highlight the many wartime uses for its tapes and suggest post-war applications. One of the ads is shown to the left. Several additional ads in the campaign are shown on slide 24. An examination of the ads brings into question one of the frequently published legends about the origins of duct tape, that is: Duct tape was invented by a division of Johnson & Johnson in 1942 in response to a special request by the U.S. government for a waterproof tape that could seal ammunition cases. The ads tell a different story. The ads feature off-the-shelf Jonflex (introduced in the mid1920s) and Utilitape (introduced in 1933) as the tapes used for sealing cases and for several other uses.
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The often cited story that duct tape was invented by a division of Johnson & Johnson in 1942 in response to a special request by the U.S. government ….is not true. A J&J ad campaign in 1945 features off-the-shelf Jonflex tape and Utilitape (introduced in the mid-1920s and in 1933, respectively) as the tapes used for sealing ammunition cases and for several other wartime uses.

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World War II Duct tape legend #2: Soldiers often use duct tape for emergency repairs of weapons and equipment on the front lines.
Undoubtedly, some type of tape is used for this purpose. Probably anything they can get their hands on. However, there is no evidence in the J&J ad campaign, or elsewhere, that Jonflex or Utilitape is issued to soldiers or is available for their use on the battlefield. More likely, the tape that soldiers use is standard, medical adhesive plaster that is packed into most first aid kits. One example of this tape, manufactured by J&J, is shown to the left. Dimensions of 1 inch wide by 5 yards long is the standard spool size. Several other manufacturers also supply adhesive plaster and medical supplies. German soldiers carry a similar first aid tape called Leukoplast made by Beiersdorf AG. Beiersdorf introduced this zinc oxide adhesive plaster in 1901, two years after J&J’s “Z.O.” plaster. (14)

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World War II Duct tape legend #3: Duct tape is originally called Duck tape by the soldiers in World War II.
This legend claims that the Duck name comes about because the tape’s backing is made of cotton duck cloth. Or, it is called this because water rolls off the tape like it does off a duck’s back. An extensive search produced no evidence to support this story. Three different books written specifically on WWII terms and slang were consulted. (15) (16) (17) There is no mention of Duck tape. There is no mention of Duct tape, either. That moniker comes about in the 1950’s when the product is repurposed from carton sealing to duct sealing (see slide 29). The term Duck tape was sometimes used in the early 1900s and referred to long strips cut from duck cloth, commonly called canvas outside of the textile industry. The strips were used to reinforce rubber machinery belts and hoses, insulate electrical cables and help protect suspension bridge cables. All of these applications used plain duck cloth strips without a layer of applied adhesive. Depending on the intended use, the duck cloth strips were often impregnated with rubber, linseed oil, tar or other compounds.

This illustration from a 1902 newspaper article shows how 7” wide cotton duck strips were wrapped around the suspension cables of the new Manhattan Bridge. (18)

The fact is that when many people pronounce the words “duct tape” the “t” at the end of duct and the “t” at the beginning of tape are pronounced as one, and it sounds more like “duck” than “duct”. An American company has taken advantage of this tendency to mispronounce the words and has registered the trademark Duck Tape for use on its duct tape product line.
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Post-World War II Cellophane tape is the household favorite for mending and repair.
During the 1930s, cellophane tape gradually replaces adhesive plaster as the household favorite for mending and repair. Although it doesn’t have the strength of a cloth-backed tape, cellophane tape’s clarity makes it a better choice for many light-duty taping tasks. After World War II, 3M Company invests heavily in advertising the return of its Scotch brand cellophane tape. Packaging has a new and distinctive plaid design and the brand has a new cartoon spokesperson: Scotty McTape.

Industrial Tape Corporation also focuses advertising on its Texcel brand cellophane tape. It fast-follows the leading Scotch brand by adding a candy-striped design to its packaging and adopting a cartoon spokesperson named Tex.
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Post-World War II Cloth-backed tape returns for mending and decorating.
After the war, cloth-backed tape returns to American households in the form of short-length rolls in a variety of colors. The article, shown to the left, from the January 1954 issue of Popular Science, illustrates several of the tape’s uses. Colors are a primary selling point… use matching colors for inconspicuous repairs, use contrasting colors for decorating. Plastic-backed adhesive tape (similar to electrical tape) is also popular in shortlength rolls and a variety of colors.

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Post-World War II Heavy-duty, cloth-backed tape is marketed for duct sealing.
After the war, the demand for heavy-duty, cloth tape for case sealing is greatly reduced. Manufacturers soon identify a possible new application and begin to market the tape for sealing the joints in heating and air conditioning ducts. The originator and exact date of this idea is uncertain. In the late ‘40s and early ‘50s there is a housing boom stimulated by easily affordable mortgages for returning members of the military. The majority of the new homes are being built with forced-air heating and cooling systems. The tape appears to work well for sealing seams in the ductwork because the heavy adhesive acts like a gasket to seal off air leaks. The tape is made in a silver-gray color to match the color of galvanized sheet metal. It takes some time, however, for the name “duct tape” to gain popularity. Manufacturers’ sales literature and trade articles through the 1950s refer to the product by the more generic descriptor “cloth tape”. (19) By the mid1960s, the name “duct tape” begins to catch on. The mid-1960s is when the first Baby-Boomers became adults and home owners. It is the start of the doit-yourself (DIY) era for home projects. There is also rapid growth in hardware and home center stores that stock masking, strapping and duct tapes.
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1953 Industrial Tape Corporation changes name to Permacel.
In its previous 1945 advertising campaign, Industrial Tape Corporation begins using the trademark Permacel as an umbrella brand for all of its industrial tapes. The exception is Texcel cellophane tape that is described as a “companion” product. In 1953, ITC officially changes the company name to Permacel Tape Corporation (PTC). Permacel continues as an independent subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Company. (19)

1956 Permacel Tape Corporation makes an acquisition and changes name.
Permacel Tape Corporation acquires Lepage’s Inc., headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, a manufacturer of glues and adhesives. The company changes its name to Permacel-LePage’s Inc., but it is short-lived. In 1960, the LePage’s product line will be sold to Papercraft Corporation and the name reverts back to the original. (20)
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1959 (approximate date) New, less costly duct tape construction is introduced.
In the late 1950s, a new and less costly duct tape construction is introduced. Instead of coating the cloth backing to make it waterproof, a third layer of polyethylene film is laminated to the backing. Initially this new construction is made in two stages: first laminating the film to the backing, and then coating it with pressure-sensitive adhesive. Later, these two steps are combined and duct tape is made with a single pass through the equipment. This is the duct tape people are familiar with today. (21) Polyethylene film Cloth backing Adhesive Manufacturers can achieve different quality/strength characteristics for the finished tape by varying one or more of the following: 1. thickness of polyethylene firm 2. type of cloth 3. amount of adhesive coating

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1970 Apollo 13 astronauts use duct tape for emergency repair.
Apollo 13 is the seventh manned mission in the Apollo space program and the third intended to land on the moon. The lunar landing is aborted, however, after an oxygen tank explodes. The explosion forces the crew to use the lunar module as a “lifeboat” to return to Earth. One of the many problems that develops is the inability to remove carbon dioxide from the air. Fortunately, people on the ground anticipate the problem, and after a lengthy brainstorming session, come up with an answer. They design a supplementary carbon dioxide removal system using only items that are available on the spacecraft. Following instructions from mission control, the astronauts take about 1 hour to build the device out of plastic bags, cardboard, parts from a lunar suit and a lot of duct tape. In the words of Jim Lovell, "The contraption wasn't very handsome, but it worked.” (22)
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1982 J & J sells Permacel business.
Johnson and Johnson sells its Permacel subsidiary to Avery International Corporation, a California company best known for its adhesive labels business. Subsequently, in 1988, Avery sells Permacel to Nitto Denko Corporation, a Japanese company. In April 2004, Nitto Denko closes the 75 year old Permacel manufacturing facility in North Brunswick, New Jersey. (23) In October 2009, Nitto Denko announces that the Permacel brand name will be discontinued with all tapes converting to the existing Nitto Tape brand.

Permacel manufacturing plant in North Brunswick, NJ.

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1998 Testing finds duct tape performs poorly at duct sealing.
An article in the July/August issue of Home Energy Magazine reports on laboratory testing of various materials for effectiveness in sealing heating/cooling ducts. The report concludes, “Most duct leakage could be prevented with proper duct sealing. But field examinations often find seals failing over time. To provide lab data about which sealants and tapes last, and which are likely to fail, we are conducting ongoing accelerated testing at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).”
“Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has now tested over a dozen types of duct tape. There are several qualities--Economy, Utility, General Purpose, Contractors, Industrial, Professional, Premium and even Nuclear. However, accelerated testing shows that fabric-backed tape with rubber adhesive, on its own, tends to fall off, as shown here.”

“ The major conclusion we can draw so far is that one can use anything but duct tape--if we define duct tape as fabric-backed tape with rubber adhesive--to seal ducts. Under challenging (but realistic) conditions, duct tapes fail. Other kinds of tape and other sealant methods have good longevity when installed properly.”
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2003 Duct tape recommended for protection from terrorist attack.
On Friday, February 7 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security raises the national threat level from yellow to orange, indicating a “high” risk of terrorist attack. On the following Monday, the Department urges citizens to prepare for a biological, chemical, or radiological attack by assembling a “disaster supply kit” including duct tape and plastic sheeting to seal windows and doors. The recommendation causes a surge in demand for duct tape and all the other items recommended for the kit.

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2013 Duct tape nearing 100 years old.
Duct tape was first introduced by Bauer & Black Company in 1921 as Tirro Mending Tape. It is now over ninety years old. During that time, its popularity has continued to grow. A national survey conducted by the Gallup Organization in 2003, reported that 59% of respondents claimed to have duct tape in their house. (24) Television personality Red Green called duct tape “the handyman’s secret weapon.” Today, it has become equally popular with hobbyists and artists due to its wide variety of colors and patterns.

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Notes
(1) Shecut, William H. and Day, Horace H. “Improvement in Adhesive Plasters.” US Patent 3965, issued March 26, 1845. (2) “Allcock’s Porous Plasters.” The Quack Doctor: Historical Remedies For All Your Ills. http://thequackdoctor.com/index.php/allcocks(3) Foster, Lawrence G. Johnson & Johnson - A Company That Cares. New Brunswick NJ: Johnson & Johnson, 1986. p. 93. (4) "Many Uses of Adhesive Plaster." The New York Times. October 23, 1910. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html? (5) Huck, Virginia. Brand of the Tartan - The 3M Story. New York: Appelton, Parsons & Company Inc., 1995. pgs. 157-181. (6) Drew, Richard G. “Adhesive Tape.” US Patent 1,760,820, filed May 28,1928, and issued May 27, 1930. (7) Kendall, Henry P. 1953. “The Kendall Company: 50 Years of Yankee Enterprise 1903-1953.“ http://www.walpolelibrary.org/walpolenew/history/hpeoplekendall.htm (8) "Polyken Distribution System." Industrial Marketing, 1952. (9) Drew, Richard G. “Adhesive Sheeting.” US Patent 2,156,380, filed February 18, 1938, and issued May 2, 1939. (10) Roberts, Cecil. Gone Sunwards. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1936. pgs. 220-236. Cecil Roberts is a well-known English journalist, novelist and writer of travel books. Gone Sunwards chronicles his trip to Miami in the winter of 1935. In a chapter titled “The Wizard of the Bay” he recalls an afternoon spent with Leo Baekeland at his estate on Millionaires’ Row. It is during this visit that Baekeland tells Roberts of his idea for waterproofing bandages and fabric by treating them with a special Bakelite resinoid. (11) Baekeland, Leo H. 1935. “Impress of Chemistry Upon Industry – Bakelite. An Example” Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. May Issue. p.542 In this journal article, Baekeland again recalls the genesis of his ideas for Drybak bandages and Revolite fabric. (12) Several trade publications, such as Advertising & Selling, Hardware Age, and Plastic Products, announce the launch of Utilitape . The wording of all the announcements is very similar and likely comes from a Revolite Corporation press release.

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Notes
(13) Several trade publications, such as Electrical World, Paper Trade Journal and Hardware Age, announce the name change to Industrial Tape Corporation. The wording of all the announcements is very similar and likely comes from a Revolite Corporation press release. (14) “Beiersdorf AG History.” FundingUniverse. http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/beiersdorf-ag-history/ (15) Taylor, Marjorie. The Language of World War II. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1948. (16) Dickson, Paul. War Slang. Washington D.C.: Brassey’s Inc., 2004. (17) Rottman, Gordon L. FUBAR: Soldier Slang of World War II. Long Island City NY: Osprey Publishing, 2007. (18) "Wrapping on Cables of the New East River Bridge." The Brooklyn Daily Eagle 21 Nov. 1902: 15. Web. http://eagle.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/Default/Scripting/ArchiveView.asp?skin=BEagle&AppName=2&GZ=T&BaseHref=BEG%2F1902 %2F11%2F21&PageSize=3&enter=true&Page=15 (19) Gerstel, Martin H. “Pressure Sensitive Tapes.” In Adhesives and Sealants in Building, pgs. 23-26. Washington D.C.: Building Research Institute, 1958. At the end of the article, Martin Gerstel is identified as Product Manager for Permacel-LePages Inc. (20) Several trade publications announce the 1953 and 1956 name changes. (21) Johnston, John. Pressure Sensitive Adhesive Tapes – A Guide to Their Function, Design, Manufacture, and Use. Northbrook, Illinois: Pressure Sensitive Tape Council, 2000 (22) “Apollo 13 Mission.” Lunar and Planetary Institute. http://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/missions/apollo/apollo_13/ (23) Kohlhepp, Jennifer. 2004. “Permacel Closing Will Affect 150 Workers.” North Brunswick Sentinel, April 22, sec. A (24) Carlson, Darren K. 2004. “Fewer Americans Preparing for Terrorist Attack.” Gallup.com. http://www.gallup.com/poll/11578/feweramericans-preparing-terrorist-attack.aspx

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Copyright 2012 G.L. Kiecker

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