Where Scotch Tape Came From

Scotch tape, whatever brand you use, is one of those things that you’ve used for everything since you were a young child, from stopping the bleeding to making the cat freak out. But how did it originate? And why is it called Scotch tape, anyway?

The particulars are hard to pin down, but everyone seems to agree that Scotch tape, the now-famous brand, originated as a slur. Back in the ’20s, Scotch was a synonym for “cheap.” Richard Drew, a 23-year-old research assistant at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, was trying to create a sticky-but-not-too-sticky adhesive tape for auto painters to use on two-tone paint jobs. When he erred on the not-too-sticky side, one of the car-painters asked, “Why so Scotch with the adhesive?” and a brand name was born.

But the tape he came up with for making paint on cars was Scotch brand masking tape. The clear cellophane tape took some real work, but Richard Drew developed that also, with the help of the product development team he was promoted to supervise. Read the story of how Scotch tape came about at the New York Times. -via Digg

(Image credit: Improbcat)


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