Guest Author - Dale Y the Maintenance Guy
I could probably get into a debate about the most versatile invention that humankind has ever created, and except for the wheel, I believe that nothing else comes close to duct tape. But before we get into the mind-boggling array of uses, lets do a little history on the subject.
Invented in WW 2 by Johnson & Johnson, it was initially used to cover the seam where the lid met the container on ammo boxes. Because of the rubberized adhesive, the seal became virtually water tight, allowing the ammo inside to stay dry and ready when shipped overseas. No one knows for sure, but some say that because of this property of shedding water, it began to be called �duck� tape.
Because of the sticky backing, it was found to adhere onto nearly anything, making it virtually essential for the battlefield. So useful did it become in the military, that it began to be requisitioned third in priority behind food and ammunition! It�s uses went from taping over bullet holes in high performance aircraft, to securing weapons and equipment for transport, to being wrapped around gaping wounds before the patient was transferred to a hospital! No other material could be said to have saved as many lives as a roll of duct tape.
After the war and with the housing boom, HVAC (that's Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) installers began using it to secure the seams in the tin ductwork that supplied both heat and air conditioning for houses. The people that worked with tin ducts were called �tin-knockers� and their tape was aptly called, �tin-knockers tape� in the business trade. However, servicemen were still calling it �duck� tape, and it was just a small leap before consumers, seeing it on their heating ducts, gave it the name which we all know today.
So respected as a cure for anything mechanical, NASA even sends several rolls along on all of its� space flights, dating back to the 60�s. Heck, if it�s good enough for NASA, it�s good enough for me!
I keep a roll in my car, and have used it for such things as emergency hose repair, taping my bumper back on after I hit a sign (I swear that sign jumped out at me!), taping my trunk closed when the mechanism broke, and on and on.
Around the home I have used it to clamp glued wood together, made tool handles, repaired tears in material and leather, and strapped anything motorized down to hold it in place. My work sink still has the drainpipes taped together, going on 6 years now, and they still don�t leak. It works great for sealing a piece of plastic around your window air conditioner for the winter, sealing cartons or boxes is a snap, and of course, attaching any type of insulation to either hot water tanks and/or hot water pipes for energy conservation.
And, because it is woven on one side, you can actually stick two pieces together and sew through it, and it won�t rip. How�s that?
So, next time you want to hold it all together, duct tape is just what you need!