Who Invented the Zipper?

Found in different kinds of clothes like jeans, shorts and jackets, the zipper serves a very important role despite its simple looking appearance. Used to join fabric edges temporarily, it can also be found in bags, sporting goods and many other items. This item comes in different types, all of which are comprised of simple but highly efficient components. Here is a closer look at other valuable information about this product including who invented the zipper.

The Invention of the Zipper
Who invented the zipper? Whitcomb L. Judson, who was a U.S.-born inventor, started a series of experiments. He came up with the clasp-locker, a product that was very much like the modern-day zipper. He was granted a patent for that on November 7, 1891. Years after that, Gideon Sundback had invented the ‘Hookless Fastener No. 2,’ which was a version with the very same concept as the zipper of today. Judson followed the hook and eye model for his invention, while Sundback used the interlocking teeth model, the latter of which was better than the former.

However, even before these two important inventions, some people already came up with relatively similar ideas but with different results. Some time in 1851, Elias Howe was granted a patent in the U.S. for his device called ‘an Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.’ It was very much like the zipper as it is today especially in terms of function. However, it has no slider, which made the concept somewhat different from the true zipper.

Additional Facts and Other Interesting Information
The zipper serves many purposes. In trousers, this device can increase opening size in order for things to pass through them. For skirts, dresses or jackets, it can separate two sides or ends of a single piece of clothing or garment. It comes in various types, one of which is the coil zipper, a product that is widely sold all throughout the world. There are also other types such as the closed-ended, open-ended as well as plastic-molded zippers. Furthermore, you can also find metallic zippers on jeans and invisible zippers on dresses and skirts.

If you are to look at a zipper, you can find a number of different components. Each zipper is made up of basic parts such as a slider, a top stop and a top tape extension. In addition, there is a chain width, a tape and a pull-tab. Moreover, you can also find a reinforcement film, retainer box, insertion pin, single-tape width, bottom tape extension and bottom stop. To name a few, some of the most successful distributors of zippers today are Opti, Olympic Zippers Ltd. and YKK.