Monday, April 28th. Today marks the completion of the first full century of an invention many — if not most — of us use every day without a second thought.
In April 1913, Hoboken, New Jersey resident Gideon Sundbach patented the zipper. He called his invention the “hookless fastener.”
Improved and patented again in 1917 as the “separable fastener,” for many years the invention was used mainly on rubber boots.
Such was the use by the B.F. Goodrich Company, which gave the fastener the now familiar name “zipper.”
But in 1930, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli became the first to display them on clothing.
As the creation enters its second century of service, manufacturing zippers and other slide fasteners for the apparel industry is a $176 million a year business.
And as you can see here, the zipper is not just a clothes fastener; it can be the apparel itself. The dress on the right is entirely made of zippers.