Gideon Sundback, inventor of zipper, celebrated in Google doodle

Apr 24, 2012, 11:00 IST | Agencies

Just go to Google, and you will find a giant zipper running down the centre of the global search engine's home page. It's the search giant's tribute to the inventor of the zipper, Gideon Sundback

 

No prizes for guessing. It's to mark the 132nd birth anniversary of Gideon Sundback, the Swedish-American inventor of the ubiquitous zipper -- the fastening device that has revolutionised the clothing industry. 
 
In fact, if you drag your mouse down to unzip the zipper, it will split the screen, including the search textbox and reveal the relevant results for the name Gideon Sundback. 
 
Born on April 24, 1880, in Sweden, Sundback moved to Germany following his studies and emigrated to the US in 1905. It was in the US where he started to work at Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company in Pittsburgh. 
 
A year later, he was hired to work for the Universal Fastener Company in Hoboken, New Jersey, and became its head designer in 1909. 
 
Sundback initially proposed the new zipper as a replacement for hook-and-eye fasteners on women's boots but it had become a regular feature for the flies of trousers and on dresses by the 1930s. 
 
It may be mentioned here that the name zipper was actually coined in 1923 by BF Goodrich, who used the device on their new boots. 
 
Initially, boots and tobacco pouches were the primary use for zippers; it took another twenty years before they caught on in the fashion industry. 
 
About the time of World War II the zipper achieved wide acceptance for the flies of trousers and the plackets of skirts and dresses. 
 
Sundback died of a heart condition in 1954 and was interred at Greendale cemetery in Meadville, Pennsylvania. 

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