Begin with an image - fashion without the zipper...
Ladies' undergarments either laced or hooked as well.
A woman's attire in the 19th century was composed of 6 layers.
Even men's trousers - NO zipper!
Proceed to your closet - How many articles of clothing do you have that contain a zipper? Think about each of those items NOT having the zipper but all of those openings that need to be closed having snaps or hooks & eyes instead. Consider it is Monday morning and time to get ready for work. Need an extra hour? Two? Definitely need more than two hands, especially the ladies!
Embrace the Past...
Thank you, Gideon Sundback, who perfected that miraculous device, the zipper! Of course, it did not come about without trial and error. Just think back to the number of times you have experienced a broken zipper and multiply that many times over until the zip in the zipper was perfected.
He (Sundback) was responsible for improving the "Judson C-curity Fastener". At that time the company's product was still based on hooks and eyes. Sundback developed an improved version of the C-curity, called the "Plako", but it too had a strong tendency to pull apart, and was not any more successful than the previous versions. Sundback finally solved the pulling-apart problem in 1913, with his invention of the first version not based on the hook-and-eye principle, the "Hookless Fastener No. 1". He increased the number of fastening elements from four per inch to ten or eleven. His invention had two facing rows of teeth that pulled into a single piece by the slider, and increased the opening for the teeth guided by the slider.
|Clasp Locker or |
Unlocker for Shoes
Want to know the whole story behind the zipper? Sundback's was indeed not the first ever. The first semblance of a zipper model traces back to Elias Howe, the founder of the sewing machine. Howe designed a zipper-like model in response to the more time consuming fasteners used for clothing and shoes. Since Elias Howe was more interested in his invention, the sewing machine, his idea was left undeveloped. It wasn't until 40 years later inventor Whitcomb L. Judson began devising the patent "Clasp Locker or Unlocker for Shoes."
Tidbit of Trivia
How interesting to note the zipper did not come into vogue until the 1930s! Outcries from churches declared the "The Hookless Fastener" device as "the Devil's Fingers" because of its ease to remove clothing.
Illustration: Whitcomb Judson's clasp locker
The term "zipper" was coined as an onomatopoeia by B.F. Goodrich, whose company started marketing galoshes featuring the fastener in 1923. Regrettably, Whitcomb Judson died in 1909, and never heard the term, or saw the success, by which his invention would become ubiquitous.
Source: Inventor of the Week Archive
Next time you put on a pair of jeans, slacks, shorts or cutesy top, 'just zip it!' with a smile! Usually it takes only seconds and you are on your way.
Can you imagine this with hooks & eyes?