The exact origin of one of the most versatile and useful inventions of all time, adhesive tape, is probably not precisely known. It may have been a mere matter of applying some tacky tree sap to piece of animal skin thousands of years ago, which was then used to patch a hole in a human dwelling. Whatever the actual historic origins are, it is known that in the 1800s an American surgeon made a simple surgical tape by applying an adhesive to a strip of cloth, which he then used in his surgical practice. Some three quarters of a century later an engineer and sometimes banjo player would add an adhesive to a strip of paper to create masking tape for professional painters. Not long afterward, the same engineer created the first clear cellophane tape for the food packaging industry by applying a clear, water resistant adhesive to clear cellophane.
Varied in type and Non-Slip application:
Today there are many different types of double sided adhesive tape; that are each designed to be used for a specific purpose. Yet with so many types of tape available it is not uncommon for one type of tape to be used for more applications than for which it was originally intended. Some such uses are easily logical and others are uniquely original. One well known type of tape is duct tape. This common household tape was originally designed to provide a durable and waterproof seal for ammunition cans, and to provide a field expedient method for repairing military vehicles and equipment. Duct tape is now used for a variety of different purposes that range from sealing heating and air conditioning duct seams to repairing holes in hoses and liquid holding containers. One interesting use of the non slip kind is in the fashioning of wallets, which can now be done using a variety of different colours of tape.
In factory and shipping locations, the regular packaging tape is a common tool that is used to keep the many various cables sorted and secured to the stage or set. Gaffer tape is similar to duct tape but it is used by film crews and stage hands, and is designed to be more durable, more easily torn by hand and easier to remove without leaving a sticky residue. Gaffer tape is generally a matte colour, light or dark to better blend in with the surfaces to which it is applied. Because it is used on any stage or film set, it has found additional uses for which it was never intended. One such use is in the labelling of different components and areas of the sound engineer’s equipment for easy reference.
While some tapes are used as electrical insulators, copper tape is designed to conduct electricity. It is a thin copper foil with an adhesive on one side generally used in as a conductor electronic in electrical circuit boards and devices. However, copper tape is also used to provide shielding from interference in data and signal transmission cables and electric musical instruments. One popular but unique use for copper tape is to provide a barrier to slugs in garden planters and vegetable beds.
Opposite to the antireflective nature of gaffer tape, reflective tape was originally designed to be reflective of light. Reflective tape is a strip of base material that is adhesive on one side with tiny translucent spheres or prisms embedded in a reflective layer opposite the adhesive. Reflective tape is used as a safety device to increase the visibility of signs and roadway equipment. This tape has been adapted for use by bicyclists and motorcyclists to increase the roadway visibility of helmets and articles of clothing.
Enjoy this cool video about how to make a Packing Tape wallet: