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  • Writer's pictureLonda

Zippers – a Short History

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

Zippers are a series of hooks and eyes to create a long, continuous fastener!  Invented in 1890, zippers are certainly an interesting invention!  Browsing through some files, I happened upon a short history of zippers in a Taunton Press article from 1991 by Kathy Sandmann.

zipper image

“Whitcomb Judson devised this fastener system in 1890 and called it, the ‘C-Curity Placket Fastener. However, the invention was not very successful.  The B.F. Goodrich Co., developed another version for its rubber boots.  The Sales slogan used was ‘Just zip’er up and zip’er down”.  Hence the name zipper was coined. ”

The ‘Talon’ Connection

A company (later named Talon) was started for the sole purpose of refining the slide fastener.  The company developed metal teeth to be used in place of hooks and eyes.  Soon, Coats & Clark discovered a way to die-cast the zipper, attaching metal teeth directly to a fabric tape.

In 1960 the evolutionary process went farther with the development of the coil zipper, a lightweight, flexible fastener and had almost unlimited versatility and that was every bit as strong as the metal zipper.”

Zipper Categories

colored zippers

Conventional Zippers – most common to us sewers, this type is closed at one end and they type most often used in dressmaking.

Separating Zippers – opens at both ends and is ideal for jackets.