Sometimes you find the most fascinating stories hidden in the most mundane topics. Duct tape, for example, will not be the central figure of any novels this year, and rightly so. However, when I learned the origin of duct tape recently I found it truly amazing. Read on to find out more about duct tape, its origin, and its many uses.
Duct tape was born during wartime but amazingly it was created by a caring mother. Her sons worked in a factory packing ammunition for the war. These boxes were packed, taped and waxed to make them waterproof and ready for a long trip. The thin paper would often break making them unreliable in battles. This mother created a new solution and when she tried to implement it, it was largely ignored, although clearly superior. She did not rest there, instead deciding to message Roosevelt himself with her solution.
Roosevelt sent her suggestion to his team and they went to work. They created a rubber-based adhesive with a durable duck-cloth back. And so, DUCK tape was born. Duct tape originally being called duck tape due to the backing used. It was an incredible success in the war effort and when the war ended soldiers brought it into their homes and it boomed commercially. It was found to be great for piping and air conditioning ducts, and so the rebranding took place. It was changed from army green to the silver we know today and the name was altered to duct tape to highlight its uses in the home.
Duct tape would continue to play a central figure in every war since then. In the Vietnam war, it was used to repair helicopter rotors, and to minimize noise when secretive missions were underway. The duct tape could be used to stick noisy metals like dog tags together so that soldiers were completely silent.
Even more fascinating is that duct tape is now taken into every space mission that takes place. The tape is so versatile, strong with such a rich array of uses that astronauts don’t leave earth without it!