The history of the zipper


In 1893, millions of people flocked to the World Fair in Chicago. One of the items on display was the world's first patented zipper and the machine used to manufacture it. The inventor, Whitcomb L. Judson, called it the "clasp-locker". It was a complicated hook-and-eye fastener.

Whitcomb launched the Universal Fastener Company to manufacture this new device. The company hired an electrical engineer who modified the original design. Gideon Sundback renamed it the "separable fastener" in 1917. This device could be used on shoes, clothing, leather goods and luggage for the convenience of fastening with a single zip of the hand.

The term "zipper" was used in 1923 when it became a household name. Today it is hard to imagine life without the humble zip.

Yoshida Company Limited is the largest zipper manufacturer in the world. The familiar initials YKK on the zippers come from the owners name Mr. Yoshida Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha (or YKK for short). This Japanese company produces 200 miles of zippers each day in 1,500 styles in 427 standard colors.

Care of Zipper

The structure of a zipper is the same as that of a precision instrument. Well cared for zippers may outlast the rest of the bag. Here are a few tips on proper care and usage that will ensure smooth gliding.

  • Make sure the zipper is completely open before using the compartment.
  • This avoids excessive force while taking something out or even putting an item in.
  • Do not forcibly try to close the zipper of a full bag. The stress may damage the     teeth.
  • If the zipper does not move properly, apply a lubricant to the teeth and then move     the slider up & down a few times.