More than 120 years ago, a landmark event took place: the world got acquainted with the creation of Whitcomb Leo Judson. We are talking about a zipper, the peculiarity of which was the possibility of fastening with one hand. Officially, such a clasp was demonstrated to the public on March 31, 1893.
It turns out that painful sensations in the back of Judson’s friend led to the appearance of such a device. Once a friend of Whitcomb began to experience severe pain when bending over his back, so he could not cope with the lacing on his boots. He asked his friend to create such a device that could be fastened with only one hand.
A feature of the device was the alternation of hooks and loops, which were connected to each other using the “key-tongue” design. Due to the fact that such a clasp made it possible to fasten boots and boots very quickly, it was called a zipper.
It would seem that such a novelty should have instantly interested people and replaced the usual lacing. But in reality, sales were poor, as people had difficulty using it. Imagine that a zipper even came with an instruction manual in two languages. Another significant drawback was the high cost of the zipper manufacturing process. As a result, it cost twice as much as a pair of trousers or a skirt. Accordingly, only wealthy segments of the population had access to it.
Despite attempts to commercialize the zipper, Judson nearly collapsed financially. The involvement of L. Walker and G. Earl as partners helped to avoid complete bankruptcy. It was Louis Walker who came up with the idea to use the engineering talent of engineer Gideon Sundback. He was actively engaged in improving the zipper, as a result of which, on April 29, 1913, Sundback became the owner of a patent for a new zipper. In addition to obtaining a patent, Sundback developed an advanced technology for its production.
And again, the inventor faced the problem of promoting his invention: again, it was not popular. Only five years later, the zipper was used in the manufacture of «money belts», which were actively used by military sailors. In 1918, the number of zippers sold exceeded 24,000. Sailors appreciated the convenience of using such a fastener, which became an excellent advertisement for the invention.
Since 1923, the zipper finally entered the masses and became known as the zipper in English. A large shoe manufacturing company has developed an interesting model of rubber overshoes this year. Bertrand Roque, the president of the company, decided to equip such galoshes with a «lightning», which was a huge success among buyers.
In 1934, the YKK company was founded in Japan, which was engaged in the production and further improvement of zippers. Currently, more than 50% of the «lightning» in the world is produced by this company. Among the recognized leaders in the production of fasteners, it is worth noting China, India and Bangladesh.
Today, zip-up shoes are consistently popular, as this convenient solution saves time when putting on shoes and is a striking design element.