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Karla Yazzolino

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Member Since: Mar, 2011

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Blogs by Karla Yazzolino

That's What I Think
4/24/2012 12:29:49 PM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

Something fun and a hoot to know:Zippers From Google

When Gideon Sundback introduced his "Hookless No. 2" zipper – a design that would forever change the fashion industry – the world greeted his invention with a resounding "Meh."

Gideon Sunback zipper Google doodle: 10 great books about zippers
Google honors Gideon Sundback: Father of the zipper
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Tuesday's Google doodle celebrates the Swedish engineer and the zipper, a ubiquitous feature for today's pants, boots, backpacks, and dresses. But when the "Hookless No. 2" debuted in 1914, people didn't get it. Why ditch buttons, hooks, and clasps, they asked? Do clothes really need newfangled technology?

Part of the problem was the device's bumpy history. Several primitive zippers existed before 1914. They were awful. Early designs jammed and pulled apart easily. They involved sharp hooks looping together, instead of Sundback's method of tight and secure metal fasteners. Sundback gets credit for inventing the zipper because he created the first practical and reliable design.


In Pictures: Google Doodles you'll never see

A factory could produce "over 1,500 flawless fasteners a day," according to one history of the zipper, "but there was simply no demand." Sundback removed the hassle, yet zippers were still considered simply a novelty.

Early zippers also suffered from poor marketing. They had names such as the "Judson C-curity Fastener," "The Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure," and of course Sundback's "Hookless No. 2."

In many ways, the success of zippers went hand-in-hand with the word "zipper."

The US Army used Sundback's interlocking teeth for gear and clothing, but zipper didn't take off in civilian clothing until 1923, when B. F. Goodrich Company wanted to innovate on the standard boot. It introduced the "Zipper Boot," the first time anyone called this mechanism a "zipper." The name stuck.

By the late 1920s, designers attached zippers to all manner of footwear, baggage, and children's clothes. But respectable ladies and gentlemen still needed convincing.

"Despite the devices attributes, the public was not receptive," writes fashion historian Ronald Knoth. "The pulpit decried, 'The Hookless Fastener' as 'the Devils fingers,' [because it made it easier] to remove clothing with autonomy. It was not until 1923, that the term 'zipper' was coined by BF Goodrich, and the zipper didn’t fully come into vogue until the 1930’s."

By World War II, zippers were everywhere. The once-ignored invention took over wardrobes across the country. Now, on what would have been Sundback's 132nd birthday, it's good to remember that even fashion is full of indispensable innovations that seemed silly at the time. As Albert Einstein once said, "If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”


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More Blogs by Karla Yazzolino
• The End - Monday, September 17, 2012
• UPDATE - Monday, September 10, 2012
• That's What I Think - Monday, August 27, 2012
• That's What I Think - Tuesday, August 14, 2012
• That's What I Think - Monday, August 06, 2012
• That's What I think - Monday, July 30, 2012
• That's What I Think - Tuesday, July 17, 2012
• That's What I Think - Thursday, July 05, 2012
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• That's What I Think - Friday, June 15, 2012
• That's What I Think - Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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• That's What I Think - Friday, June 01, 2012
• That's What I Think - Wednesday, May 30, 2012
• That's What I Think - Tuesday, May 29, 2012
• That's What I Think! - Friday, May 25, 2012
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• That's What I Think - Tuesday, May 08, 2012
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• That's What I Think! - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
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Nickel-Plated Dream by Stephen Lodge

Return to the thrilling days of yesteryear where traditional western values embrace the Code of the West. This exciting adventure yarn blends teenage restlessness with cowboy t..  
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