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Whitcomb L. Judson
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Inventor
    (1836-1909)
    Invented the 'clasp-locker' (hookless fastener) from which the modern day zipper is derived
    Patented the device (August 29, 1893) and exhibited it at the World's Columbian Exposition (aka The Chicago World's Fair)
    Formed the Universal Fastener Company with businessman Colonel Lewis Walker to manufacture the device
    His invention was meant to help a friend with a stiff back be more able to fasten his shoes.
    Due to its complexity it took 22 months for a patent to be issued.
    While innovative the clasp-locker was looked at as more a curiosity than a practical tool.
    He died before his invention was widely accepted, used only for shoes, mailbags and tobacco pouches.
    After he died an employee of his company improved the design and the B.F. Goodrich company ordered them for its new rubber galoshes, renaming it the 'zipper.'
    He came up with the idea from the lock stitch produced by a previous invention, the sewing machine.
    He had a mechanical mind and patented several other inventions involving motor and railway brake improvements.
    By the 1930's his invention caught on with the fashion industry, where author Aldous Huxley suggested the 'zippered fly.'
    Another of his inventions helped his son secure financial independence for life; the automobile cupholder.
    Converse, Texas named one of their high schools in his honor.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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