Not quite cutting-edge¹ tech info

   But an interesting moment

   in our older, lower-tech world:


The History of Duct Tape


 For more use the DOOR.




   Not older than dirt–but as old as duct tape, I share this brief account. One reason: Our ability to communicate with someone “higher up” was actually a bit easier back then. (We present the following with very little modification.)


   In 1940, Illinois native Vesta Stoudt began her journey into practical history that’s affected practically everyone.

   “She took a position at a local plant packing boxes of grenade cartridges to be sent to the front during World War II. The packages were sealed with waterproof paper tape with one end sticking up, creating a tab the soldiers could pull to open the box and retrieve the ammunition. However the thin paper tore easily, costing soldiers precious time under enemy fire. Stroudt devised a sturdier cloth tape and showed it to her supervisors. When they brushed her off, Stroudt wrote directly to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, pleading, ‘I have two sons out there somewhere…You have two sons in the service also. We can’t let them down by giving them a box of cartridges that takes a minute or more to open, the enemy taking their lives, that could have been saved.’

   “Roosevelt took her suggestion to the War Production Board, which commissioned the Johnson & Johnson company to create a new tape made of mesh cloth coated in waterproof polyethylene plastic.

   “After the war, contractors adapted the invention for use taping air ducts and renamed it duct tape, but its versatility is renowned.d.

   “A piece of duct tape can offer a temporary fix when glue or construction tools are unavailable. It can prevent frostbite, support weak ankles, repair horses’ hooves, and stop the flow of blood from a wound. During the Apollo 13 mission, the crew had to evacuate to a small lunar module. With limited tools available, they designed an air filter from duct tape to survive.”²


      Stories about duct tape, sometimes can go on and on. For the person who does everything and has everything, a roll of duct tape, or “duck tape,” is a perfect gift. It may be used up, but it will never be thrown away. It belongs right up there on the shelf with a can of WD40 and a small can of lighter fluid³.


  ¹ But often sitting alongside “cutting-edge stuff.”

  ² 101 Inventions that Shaped the World (National Geographic Partners, LLC, 2017. p.66). Breaking into shorter paragraphs, coloring, and italics is ours.

  ³ A solvent that can remove stains when nothing else can. (One small can can last a lifetime.)