In 1923, Richard Drew got a job as a lab technician at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (now MMM), which made sandpaper.
He was commissioned by management to oversee the testing of the new Wetordry sandpaper in stores and auto workshops. Once, while in one of these workshops, he noticed that when painting cars with two or more colors, the dividing lines from the craftsmen were not accurate. He promised the painter to come up with something. Drew brought in 5 cm wide adhesive tape for testing at the auto shop. The painter decided to use a prototype, but when he started applying a different color, he noticed that the tape was warped. Looking closely, the painter realized that in order to save money, glue was applied only to the edges of the tape, and informed the inventor about this.
But, since there was no funding, only a few years later Drew began to refine his invention. And on September 8, 1930, a prototype tape was sent for testing to a client in Chicago. The results met all expectations and costs.
There are several versions of where the name scotch tape came from. According to one of them, the Americans nicknamed the adhesive tape scotch tape, (English scotch - Scottish) because at that time there were legends about Scottish stinginess, and the glue was originally applied in the adhesive tape only along the border.
Scotch tape was originally used to package food wrappers, but during the Great Depression, people themselves came up with many other ways to use scotch tape.
In 1932, John Borden improved the tape by providing a feeder with a blade for cutting a piece of tape with one hand.
The world's first tape was made from rubber, oils and cellophane-based resins. It was waterproof and withstand a wide range of temperatures. However, initially the tape was intended for sealing food wrappers. It was to be used by bakers, grocers and meat packers. But people who were forced to save money during the Great Depression themselves came up with hundreds of new ways to use duct tape at work and at home, from sealing bags of clothes to storing broken eggs. It was then that the scotch tape met with torn pages of books and documents, broken toys, windows not sealed for the winter, and even dilapidated banknotes.
In 1953, Soviet scientists discovered that due to triboluminescence, adhesive tape unwound in a vacuum can emit X-rays. In 2008, an experiment was carried out by American scientists who showed that in some cases the radiation power is sufficient to leave an X-ray image on photographic paper.
The adhesive used in the scotch tape eats into the paper over time, leaving marks that penetrate the entire thickness of the paper. The Dead Sea Scrolls were taped to preserve scattered scraps of ancient manuscripts; over 50 years, the glue of the scotch tape, glued from the inside, penetrated the scroll and began to destroy the side of the scroll on which the text itself was written. At the Israel Antiquities Authority, a special restoration department was founded, which, among other things, removes adhesive tape along with glue from the remains of the Dead Sea scrolls.