On April 29th, the calendar of curious holidays from around the world honors the zipper. At least when it comes to the American for our neighbors with their national day of the zipper or National Zipper Day are reminiscent of the first patenting. Reason enough to include this event in the list of curious world days and tell its story in this article. What happened?
Why does Zipper Day fall on April 29th?
Although in the case of National Zipper Day it is unfortunately completely unclear who started it and since when exactly it has been celebrated in the United States, there is at least one specific indication for the choice of the date and that has nothing to do with that either Today in the USA celebrated day of Gloria Dei (English National Peace Rose Day) or the international world day of dance (English International Dance Day) to do. What is the justification for choosing April 29th as the date for National Zipper Day?
On April 29, 1913, the Swedish-American inventor Gideon Sundback (1880-1954) received the US patent for the invention of the Hookless Fastener No. I , a forerunner of the modern zipper for clothing, which was previously only used on shoes and tobacco pouches (see also the list of related links below).
Gideon Sundback’s invention of the Hookless Fastener No. I.
Sundback, born in Ödestugu, Sweden, born Sundbäck, first studied engineering in Germany, more precisely in Bingen am Rhein, and then emigrated to the USA. Hence the name change. Americans don’t really care about umlauts. 😉
Attentive readers of the curious holidays will of course notice that this US American Zip Day continues the series of occasions that also have a patent or invention as a background. As an example, reference is made to the following dates:
- the day of earmuffs or National Earmuff Day on March 13,
- the day of the Eiffel Tower or English National Eiffel Tower Day,
- the day of the Bunsen burner or Bunsen Burner Day on March 31,
- the day of vitamin C or Vitamin C Day on April 4,
- the day of the Teflon or National Teflon Day on April 6,
- the International Day of the safety pin or International Safety Pin Day on 10 April or
- the US Day of waffle or National Waffle Day on 24 August.
But only as an editorial side note that leads us back to the invention of Gideon Sundback.
On the Way to the Zipper – Elias Howe, Whitcomb L. Judson, and Gideon Sundback
He was hired in 1906 by the US Universal Fastener Company because of his skills. In the years that followed, Sundback primarily spent time perfecting an already known invention and the principle of the zipper.
He took up the work of Elias Howe (1819 – 1867), inventor of the sewing machine, and Whitcomb L. Judson (1846 – 1909). While Howe had already received the patent for an automatic, continuous clothing closure in 1851 , Judson’s contribution to the clasp locker was more of a theoretical or prototypical nature. After all, Judson is now seen by many historians as the real inventor or the man who first tried to market the zipper.
Sundback’s above mentioned Hookless Fastener No. I only a preliminary stage, because Sundback’s real breakthrough came on March 20, 1917 with the patenting of its Separable Fastener . However, it would be just under another 20 years before the zipper would establish itself in the fashion world in the 1940s.
With this in mind: Have a great National Zipper Day to all of you.