Velcro is a brand of fabric hook and loop fastener, invented in 1948 by the Swiss electrical engineer George de Mestral. De Mestral patented Velcro in 1955, subsequently refining and developing its practical manufacture until its commercial introduction in the late 1950s.
De Mestral developed a fastener that consisted of two components: a lineal fabric strip with tiny hooks that could "mate" with another fabric strip with smaller loops, attaching temporarily, until pulled apart. Initially made of cotton, which proved impractical, the fastener was eventually constructed with nylon and polyester.
While the term Velcro has become genericized (i.e., the term is commonly used to mean any type of hook-and-loop fastener) it in fact remains a registered trademark in many countries, used by to distinguish hook and loop fasteners marketed by the Velcro company, headquartered in Amsterdam.
In popular culture
In the fictional universe of Star Trek, Velcro was invented by the Vulcans. In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Carbon Creek", a sample of Velcro is taken from a crashed Vulcan starship and given to a patent clerk to raise money for a teenage boy's college career. Also, one of the Vulcan crewmembers in that episode is named Mestral.
In 1988 Velcro was mentioned in the comic-strip Peanuts. In the March 21 cartoon Sally brings a Praying Doll into school for "show and tell". The dolls hands are held together by Velcro, which leads to the question if Velcro is mentioned in the New Testament.
In 1992 Velcro was mentioned in the sitcom Seinfeld, episode "The Wallet", where Jerry's father, Morty Seinfeld, states that he hates Velcro, due to the distinctive sound it makes when the two sides are being separated: "The Velcro! I can't stand Velcro! That tearing sound".
- "Velcro". Merriam Webster. Retrieved 2008-05-10.
- Strauss, Steven D. (December 2001). The Big Idea: How Business Innovators Get Great Ideas to Market. Kaplan Business. pp. 15–pp.18. ISBN 978-0-7931-4837-0. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- Schwarcz, Joseph A. (October 2003). Dr. Joe & What You Didn't Know: 99 Fascinating Questions About the Chemistry of Everyday Life. Ecw Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-55022-577-8. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
But not every Velcro application has worked ... A strap-on device for impotent men also flopped.
- "Velcro." The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989.
- Stephens, Thomas (2007-01-04). "How a Swiss invention hooked the world". swissinfo.ch. Retrieved 2008-05-09.
- "Who is Velcro USA Inc.?". Velcro. Retrieved 2009-09-07.
- About us: Our brand, Velcro UK company site, retrieved 25 April 2012
- Charles M. Schulz, "The complete Peanuts 1987-1988", Fantagraphic Books, 2013, p192
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