If you go to the Google.com homepage today, you'll see the Google logo, as if stitched onto cloth with a large zipper in the middle. Once you click on the zipper, it opens up to take you to the clickthrough page, the search for Gideon Sundback, inventor of the zipper. If you click on “I'm Feeling Lucky”, you'll be taken to a page with all of Google's Doodles from 2012. Gideon Sundback was born on the 24th of April, 1880 in Sweden to a farmer and his wife. After studying in Sweden, Sundback moved on to Germany for further education. He took his engineering exams in 1903 and migrated to the United States in 1905. In 1906, he was hired to work for the Universal Fastener company in New Jersey, and between 1906 and 1914, he began the development of the zipper.
The zipper: keeping our pants on since World War II
In 1913, he made the Hookless Fastener Number 1, which had an increased number of fastening elements (from four per inch to ten or eleven per inch) and had two facing rows of teeth which were pulled together into one piece by the slider. In 1914, he invented Hookless Fastener 2, which is essentially the modern zipper. This version is based on interlocking teeth. The United States patent for the product, patent number 1219881 for the Seperable Fastener was issued in 1917. Sundback also invented the manufacturing machine for the zipper. The word zipper came about in 1923, by B.F. GOodrich who used the product on their new boots. Tobacco pouches and boots were the first products to customarily use zippers, however, following World War II, the zipper also found its place on men's trousers and women's skirts and dresses.
In 1951, Sundback was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. On the 21st of June, 1954, Sundback passed away of a heart condition. He was included in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2006 for his invention of the zipper. And of course, Google Doodled for him today. The way the Doodle opens up is very realistic to how a fabric separates when a zipper holding it together is opened. If you haven't already, check it out.
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