Invention

NATIONAL ZIPPER DAY - April 29

NATIONAL ZIPPER DAY – April 29

NATIONAL ZIPPER DAY

National Zipper Day commemorates April 29, 1913, when the patent for the modern zipper was issued. The day celebrates something we often do not think about and may automatically take for granted.

The first attempt at creating the zipper came from the inventor of the sewing machine. In 1851, Elias Howe received a patent for the “Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.” However, Howe never marketed his invention and missed the recognition he may have received.

Forty-two years later, Whitcomb Judson began selling the “Clasp Locker.” Similar to Elias Howe’s patent, this device served as a more complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener. Judson started the Universal Fastener Company, where he manufactured his new device and debuted it at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. There he met with very little success. However, Judson earned credit as its creator because he put his invention before the public for sale.

In 1906, the Universal Fastener Company hired Gideon Sundback, a Swedish-American electrical engineer. He was highly skilled and known for his devotion to the company. On April 29, 1913, he was granted a patent for the modern zipper, known then as the “Separable Fastener.” He submitted modifications to his invention in 1917. Today we wear designs quite similar to the ones Sundback created in his patent. While he may have called them a separable fastener, we know them as zippers. 

By 1923, B.F. Goodrich popularized the word zipper as it applied to use in the boots and pouches it made. The company even copyrighted the name for a time.  

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalZipperDay

  • Wear something with a zipper.
  • Try sewing a zipper into an article of clothing. It’s harder than it looks.
  • Explore zipper art.
  • Wear your favorite zippered outfit.
  • Share photos using #NationalZipperDay to post on social media.

NATIONAL ZIPPER DAY HISTORY

The day commemorates the date in 1913, when Gideon Sundback patented the zipper on April 29, 1913. 

Zipper FAQ

Q. What color do zippers come in?
A. Zippers come in every color imaginable. Most zippers match the color of the fabric they are fastening together. Others are the color of the metal used to make them.

Q. Where are zippers used?
A. Zippers are used on just about every kind of clothing, but that’s not all. We find zippers in luggage, camping equipment, shoes, sporting goods, art, storage, etc.