Almanac: Scotch tape

(CBS News) And now a page from our "Sunday Morning" Almanac: September 8th, 1930, 83 years ago today . . . the day the 3M Company shipped out its first roll of cellophane tape.

A research team led by Richard Drew had spent nearly a year developing the clear sticky tape, which 3M proceeded to market under the brand-name "Scotch."

From the first, sales of the new all-purpose tape were on a roll, boosted by public demonstrations of its toughness . . . strong enough to tow a car . . . too strong for even Mr. America to pull apart.

By the 1950s, a series of TV ads made their debut starred cartoon pitchman Scotty McTape.

In 1978, the ubiquitous tape became a pop culture artifact when "Saturday Night Live" imagined a store that sold nothing else:

Gilda Radner: "Welcome to Scotch Boutique!"
Garrett Morris: "Um, do you sell any recording tape here?"
Radner: "No, just the sticky kind."
Bill Murray: "See, I told you!"
Fred Willard: "Next time you need the sticky kind, you'll know where to come!"

Participants in an art show in Britain last year didn't need to be sold on Scotch tape's virtues, rolling out a series of remarkable sculptures, fashioned from little more than just a few rolls of tape.

Although research engineer Richard Drew died in 1980, his old company still adheres to the standard of convenience he pioneered, manufacturing more than 900 types of tape . . . enough each year to circle the world 165 times.

Proof positive that when customers find a product that they like . . . they'll stick to it.

For more info:


Follow Us

On Twitter