A Brief History
On September 8, 1930, 3M, the better known name of what was the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, began selling their Scotch brand of household and office pressure sensitive tape, the transparent stuff no self-respecting school kid, office worker, or housewife would do without! (See our articles about inventions.)
Invented by engineer Richard Drew, the transparent cellophane tape product followed the invention of masking tape by the same man. So prevalent and iconic did the Scotch Tape brand become, that virtually all transparent tape sold in the US today is commonly referred to as “Scotch Tape,” regardless of the actual brand or manufacturer.
Later, the Scotch brand added their “Magic Tape,” an even more transparent variety that lacks the shiny finish of the original product. The Scotch brand has also been applied by 3M to various other products, such as audio and video tape.
A surprising bit of Scotch Tape trivia is that Soviet scientists discovered in 1953 that the act of peeling off Scotch Tape in a vacuum creates an effect called triboluminescence that produces X-rays! This effect was confirmed by American scientists in 2008.
Question for students (and subscribers): What is your favorite use for Scotch Tape? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
DK. Inventions: A Visual Encyclopedia. DK, 2018.
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. Christmas Magic for All Your Gifts, Using “Scotch” Brand Tapes and “Sasheen” Brand Ribbon. Good Press, 2021.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Y0L00, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
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