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Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Did ye ken...?

Ever wondered how Scotch tape got its name?

Originally it was called cellophane tape but in 1921 the 3M Company hired Mr Richard Drew as a lab technician and put him to work at improving their products.

One day, Mr Drew was watching a painter spraying a car on which he had used gummed Kraft paper to cover up the details he didn't want painted. However, when the man attempted to remove the gummed paper, it stripped the paint away with it.

Drew promised the painter that he'd work on an adhesive which would leave a clean demarcation line. In time he produced a 2 inch wide masking tape with adhesive on each edge which he delivered to the auto painter.

While testing Mr Drew's first product the painter watched it fall off as he was preparing to apply the second color of a two-tone car. The tape came loose because it was not fully coated with adhesive. It had only a 1/2" wide strip of adhesive along each edge - a money saving measure.

The painter angrily told Mr Drew, "Take this back to your stingy Scotch bosses and tell them to put more adhesive on it." This ethnic slur regarding Scottish thrift may have been unjustified, but it eventually got him the stickier tape he wanted. And the name "Scotch" stuck.

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