History of tape

People who are into "duct tape" (like me) must have a look at this history of tape published by Ambidextrous (by Jonathan Edelman). It provides a very curious timeline that starts from "Earthenware pots mended with an adhesive substance made from the sap of trees" to Johnson and Johnson or 3M inventions. Fish-based glue as well as many patents issued for glues using fish, animal bones, milk, rubber, and starch are presented.

It’s hard to imagine a world without tape. It mends our precious keepsakes, holds parts together as a quick repair, keeps our wounds together—and sometimes saves lives. The film industry is a virtual slave to tape: gaffer’s tape, paper tape, camera tape. Supposedly Socrates used an animal hide with some kind of sap to repair a hole in his home. We at least know that before tape, there was glue, fabric, paper, animal skins, and string; when tape came on the scene, everything changed. This timeline puts into perspective how tape has changed the very nature of adhesion and, along with it, designers’ manipulation of the world.

Why do I blog this? duct tape is a very intriguing innovation. As a user experience researcher, duct tape always makes me wonder about how people tune, tinker, craft, modify artifacts. It's not only an indicator of situations that should or have been tuned but also a a superb example of a way to let people create "stuff" (see this book:"Tape: An Excursion Through the World of Adhesive Tapes" by Kerstin Finger)

Sincerely, look at your environment, try to find where people leave duct tape.