Who invented the zipper?
It’s been a long journey for the humble zipper, the mechanical wonder that has kept so much in our lives ‘together’. It has passed through the hands several dedicated inventors. The magazine and fashion industry made the novel zipper the popular item it is today but this happened nearly eighty years after the zipper’s first appearance. A Swedish-born Canadian emigrant Gideon Sundback, an electrical engineer was hired to work for the Universal Fastener Company. He went on to become the head designer there, and in December 1913, he designed the modern zipper. Sundback increased the number of fastening elements fro four per inch to ten or eleven, had two facing-rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by the slider, and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider. The patent for the ‘Separable Fastener’ was issued in 1917. Sundback also created a machine for making the new zipper. The ‘S-L’ or scrap less machine took a special Y-shaped wire and cut scoops from it, then punched the scoop dimple and nib, and clamped each scoop on a cloth tape to produce a continuous zipper chain.