We all can’t agree on styles, but I suspect everybody has at least one fashion accessory in common: a YKK zipper. I recently did an inventory on my own pants (it’s an exciting life I lead) and found that a great majority of zippers bear this mysterious logo. “What does it mean,” I shouted into the deep recesses of my closet. “YKK — reveal thyself!”
The zipper gods were unresponsive, but a quick Yahoo! search revealed the answer. YKK is a Japanese company that makes a slew of products, though zippers are what the company is best known for.
According to the company’s official site, “YKK was founded in Japan as a zipper manufacturing company in 1934 by Tadao (pronounced in English as Tah-dah-o) Yoshida. In the early years, Mr. Yoshida’s company carried his name; it was called Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha–or ‘YKK’ for short.”
As for who invented the zipper, not everybody agrees. Most people give credit to American Whitcomb Judson. Originally, Judson intended his creation, which he called the “clasp-locker,” as a replacement for shoelaces. It didn’t quite manage to do that, but, after a series of refinements (it jammed quite a bit early on), the zipper became a hit. The US Army was an early adopter, applying “zippers to the clothing and gear of the troops of World War I.”
So, that’s the history of the zipper. As for who invented Velcro, that’s another story.
Thanks for reading,
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!