Zipper

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Chicago based inventor, Whitcomb Judson developed the first commercial ‘zipper’ (named the Clasp Locker) in 1893. Whitcomb established the Universal Fastener Company to market his invention, but the design had little commercial success. As head designer for Universal Fastener Company, Swedish Canadian engineer, Gideon Sundback was tasked with improving the Clasp Locker. Between 1913 and 1917 Gideon made a number of refinements, most notably increasing the number of teeth per inch and designing machinery that could mass-produce the closures. This improved design, patented as the ‘Separable Fastener’, is the zipper we know and love today. (The B. F. Goodrich Company is credited with the far more marketable name “Zipper”).

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