Who invented this?

Published on June 22nd, 2012
Who invented this?

We’re not talking about the actual sticky tape – we’re talking about the handy dispenser that makes the stuff so much simpler to use…

Sticky tape can be tricky. First, you have to find the edge, which for some reason becomes pretty much invisible when it’s stuck to the rest of the roll. Then you have to hold peel the end up and use a scissors (or your teeth) to cut the amount you need – preferably without dropping the end attached to the roll so you won’t have to search for it again. And of course, if you use your teeth to cut what you need, the tape often tears and you end up with half a strip in your hand and the other half back on the roll where it becomes even harder to find and peel off again. Eish!

The solution…
So who came up with the smart little dispenser that does all the hard work for you? The guy we have to thank for that is John Borden, a sales manager at 3M in Chicago, USA. Way back in the early 1930s, 3M’s newly invented Scotch™ Tape was a huge hit around the world, but John noticed that customers were having a tough time using it – for all the annoying reasons we mentioned above.

Borden figured there had to be a better way for customers to get the tape they needed off the roll. So, after 18 months of experimenting with designs and searching for metal-stamping operations that could make the kind of model he needed, Borden created the very first tape dispenser with a built-in cutter blade in 1932. And thanks to this smart, but simple invention, customers could happily unwind the tape, cut exactly what was needed and leave the remaining tape ready for easy use.

So, next time you use a sticky tape dispenser, take a moment to thank the awesome guy who came up with it 80 years ago…