Another day, another Google Doodle, and after the static ZX Spectrum of yesterday it’s time for some HMTL5 action to celebrate father of the zipper Gideon Sundback. The Swedish-American electrical engineer was born on this day back in 1880, and holds the original patent for the design of the zipper which he developed between 1906 and 1914.
Prior to Sundback’s work, hook and eye fasters had been commonplace to keep fabrics joined. Sundback’s “Hookless” approach used two rows of closely-spaced teeth, which could be interlocked via a sliding section, guiding the two edges together with a Y-shaped channel. The patent on the design was issued in 1917.
Initial uses for the zipper – named in 1923 by boot manufacturer B.F. Goodrich, as it had until then been known as “Hookless No.2” – included footwear and tobacco pouches, with it taking several decades before clothing adopted the design. Sundback was also responsible for the design of the machine that created the zippers themselves.
Google’s doodle is pleasingly simple, with the logo now having the appearance of being stitched onto the page, and a tempting zipper running down its middle to yank open and reveal the search page underneath. There’s more on Gideon Sundback at Wikipedia.