May 27, 2012 - Cellophane Tape Day

I have no idea why today is the day for cellophane tape—but since someone, at some point, made it so, let's salute cellophane tape inventor Richard Drew today!

Drew had earlier invented masking tape to fulfill a particular customer's needs. In the late 1920s, Drew found out that a customer needed a waterproof covering for insulation batts. He had heard of someone covering masking tape with cellophane to make it waterproof and decided to try to make the tape itself out of cellophane.

Drew ordered 100 yards of cellophane and set to work on how to apply adhesive to one side so it could act as a tape. At first the adhesive wouldn't spread evenly, but he fiddled around until he developed a primer that would allow an even adhesive layer. Still, the cellophane split far too easily inside the machines. Drew made adjustments to the machinery. Finally, in September of 1930, Drew's first roll of Scotch Cellophane Tape was sent to a customer. And it's been onward and upward ever since.

Scotch tape has been used in many weird and wonderful ways. For example, farmers sometimes use this sort of tape to cover cracks in turkey eggs—and the turkey hatchlings continue to develop normally and then hatch. Scotch tape has been use to shield the Goodyear blimp from corrosion and to repair airplane rudders. It's been used to attach labels to horses and to pick up broken glass, to repair torn money and to plug holes in balloons, to remove smudges from walls and to lift fingerprints from surfaces.

It's even been used in art!

Here is a video of an artist “painting” with a variety of tape products, and here is a photo gallery of amazing tape sculptures!

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