The history of the zipper

Talon dominated the zipper market up until the 1980′s, when Japanese manufacturer YKK seized the zipper throne and has held it since.

These days, zippers are so commonplace on clothing that they largely go unnoticed–until they stop working that is.

Few realise how much of a breakthrough they were roughly a century ago, and how they changed the construction of not only clothing, but also luggage, camping gear, and sporting goods in general. The company that eventually came to be known as Talon dominated the zipper market for much of the 20th century, and had a huge role in marketing and popularising the “clasp locker.”

Now popular in repro garments, Talon zippers originally started under a different name entirely. Whitcomb Judson, often credited as the true inventor of what came to be known as the zipper, originally presented the grand idea at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair under the Universal Fastener Company. Unfortunately for him and unknowing consumers, it was a bit of a dud. While the idea was there, the marketing and practicality was not, and the zipper failed to catch on.

Not ones to accept defeat, the zipper men moved to Hoboken, New Jersey and brought on Gideon Sundback, the man who would come to define the modern zipper in 1906. Sundback was a Swedish-American electrical engineer and essentially the father of the zipper we see today. 

Read the rest of this article here at Rawr Denim