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‘I never thought about a zipper, until I zipped up the windows on my tent’

Oct 03, 2019 07:12PM ● By Ed Helmick

We left town early headed for a remote location with our Jeep and tent trailer. Camp was set up before noon and we were ready to go exploring back roads.

It was warming up to be a hot day, even in the mountains. Before we left, we opened most of the windows on the tent trailer.

By afternoon it was starting to cloud up and we heard thunder. At that point we said to ourselves, we had better get back and zip up the windows on the tent trailer, so our bedding won’t get wet. I know afternoon showers are common in the mountain country and in our excitement to get going we forgot.

What I found interesting is we were rushing back to “zip up the windows.” That is, of course, because all the windows have zippers. A lot of things have zippers and it is kind of an odd name. How did that name come about and when was the zipper invented? Here is the rest of the story.

Devices to attach pieces of clothing together have been around and improved upon since 1851. Names such as Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure, Clasp Locker, Hookless Fastener and my favorite, the military description: Sliding Interlocking Fastener, have been used to describe the device.  Early use of these fasteners was on tobacco pouches.

In 1923 the B.F. Goodrich company brought to market a rubber boot they called Galoshes and their marketing people came up with the name Zipper for the fastener. The term zipper became a household word. As a side note, it wasn’t until 1937 that a French clothing designer used a zipper on a man’s trousers.

We did get back to the Tent Trailer to zip up the windows before a brief rainstorm arrived. (Helmick is a Serve Daily contributor.)