Unraveling the History of Tape

Unraveling the History of Tape

Founded by Ray and Marie Goldbach in 1957 in Wausau, Wisconsin as a family-owned Packaging Tape company, Rocket Industrial’s foundation started with tape. Modern tape is manufactured very differently than the first documented versions of adhesive, which used the sap of trees as an adhesive for cloth. As the need for reliable packaging materials grew during industrialization and global trade, tape was revolutionized.

Surgical Tape & Bandages

In 1845, Dr. Horace Day applied rubber adhesive to strips of fabric to create surgical tape. Then, in 1921, Earle Dickson, a cotton buyer from Johnson & Johnson created the band-aid after surgical tape kept falling off his wife’s fingers while working in the kitchen.

Masking Tape

Richard Drew

While testing sandpaper at a local body shop, Richard Drew, an employee of Minnesota Mining, now known as 3M, noticed that it was difficult for auto painters to make clean lines when using two paint colors. Masking tape was first invented in 1925 to solve the dilemma, then further developed to find the best adhesive. He experimented with the perfect backing that was sticky, yet easy to remove, testing materials including vegetable oil and natural tree gums.

Cellophane Scotch Tape

Taking advantage of the newly invented cellophane, Drew came out with waterproof transparent tape. Made from a transparent cellulose material, coated with a pressure-sensitive adhesive, this new tape could easily be applied by simply pressing it onto a surface, creating an instant bond. Derived from the slang term for "stingy" or "frugal," Scotch tape was seen as a cost-effective solution and started being used in the packaging and shipping industry.

Duct Tape

The War Effort duct tape ad

During World War II, Vesta Stoudt, who had two sons serving in the U.S. Navy, invented duct tape to save soldiers' lives. The duct tape was manufactured by Johnson & Johnson as a waterproof solution that was used for sealing equipment and ammo boxes. The cloth tape coated in polyethylene was easy to use and began being used for the automotive, building, construction, packaging, and electronic repair industries.

Over time, advancements in adhesives and tape manufacturing led to the development of stronger and more versatile tapes. With the rise of eCommerce, polypropylene and polyester films, acrylic-based tapes, hot melt tapes, and reinforced tapes were created to increase durability and tear resistance. Today, there are specific tapes for just about any application.

We carry top brands of tape for all packing needs

Browse our full selection of tape to find the best tape for your application. We also offer precision tape slitting and converting services to meet your exact specifications. Contact our tape experts for assistance.

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