Invention

Soldiers in World War II found many uses for the newly invented waterproof tape.
Soldiers in World War II found many uses for the newly invented waterproof tape.

 

During times of war, money and resources are funneled into the development of new technologies. In 1942, American GIs in Europe were in the midst of fighting World War II and a durable material was needed to seal ammunition cases, something that was similar to surgical tape, but tougher and water-resistant. Back in the United States, Permacel, a division of Johnson & Johnson invented duct tape in its modern form. It resembled earlier pressure sensitive adhesives, but it featured a third waterproof layer that earlier models had lacked [9]. Its waterproof layer caused many to dub it “duck tape” because of its similarity to a duck’s waterproof feathers. The three characteristic layers were comprised of a thick coating of rubber-based adhesive, a strip of cloth, and waterproof plastic or aluminized sealant [10]. The tape was waterproof, could be torn by hand, and was very durable. Even during the war, soldiers found many more uses for the tape than was originally intended such as repairing jeeps and guns and making crude bandages.

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