Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sellotape can produce X-Rays!

Although it is a trademarked brand name, Scotch tape is commonly used in the United States, Canada, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere as a generic term for transparent adhesive tape. (The Irish, New Zealand, and UK equivalent of Scotch tape is Sellotape. The Australian term is sticky tape) The Scotch brand includes many different constructions (backings, adhesives, etc.) and colors of tape.

The precursor to the current tapes was developed in the 1930s in Minneapolis, Minnesota by Richard Drew to seal a then-new transparent material known as cellophane.

When Drew joined 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1920, it was a modest manufacturer of sandpaper. While testing their new Wetordry sandpaper at auto shops, Drew was intrigued to learn that the two-tone auto paintjobs so popular in the Roaring Twenties were difficult to manage at the border between the two colors. In response, after two years of work in 3M's labs, Drew invented the first masking tape (1922), a two-inch-wide tan paper strip backed with a light, pressure sensitive adhesive.

The first tape had adhesive along its edges but not in the middle. In its first trial run, it fell off the car and the frustrated auto painter growled at Drew, "Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to shove it!" (By "Scotch," he meant "parsimonious".) The nickname stuck, both to Drew's improved masking tape, and to his 1930 invention, Scotch Brand cellulose tape.

In 1925 he came up with the world's first transparent cellophane adhesive tape (called sellotape in the UK and Scotch tape in the United States). In the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, people began using tape to repair items rather than replace them. This was the beginning of 3M’s diversification into all manner of marketplaces and helped them to flourish in spite of the Great Depression.
Drew died in 1980 in Santa Barbara, California.

Although it is a trademarked brand name, Scotch tape is commonly used in the United States, Canada, Italy, Russia, Ukraine and elsewhere as a generic term for transparent adhesive tape. (The Irish, New Zealand, and UK equivalent of Scotch tape is Sellotape. The Australian term is sticky tape) The Scotch brand includes many different constructions (backings, adhesives, etc.) and colors of tape.

Scotty McTape, a kilt-wearing cartoon boy, was the brand's mascot for two decades, first appearing in 1944. The familiar tartan design, a take on the well-known Wallace tartan, was introduced in 1945.

In 1953, Soviet scientists showed that triboluminescence caused by peeling a roll of an unidentified Scotch brand tape in a vacuum can produce X-rays. In 2008, American scientists performed an experiment that showed the rays can be strong enough to leave an X-ray image of a finger on photographic paper.

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