Gideon Sundback

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Gideon Sundback
Sundback circa 1920
Otto Fredrik Gideon Sundbäck

(1880-04-24)April 24, 1880
DiedJune 21, 1954(1954-06-21) (aged 74)
Resting placeGreendale Cemetery
OccupationElectrical engineer
Known forInvention of the zipper
Elvira Aronson
(m. 1909)

Otto Fredrik Gideon Sundbäck (April 24, 1880 – June 21, 1954) was a Swedish-American electrical engineer, who is most commonly associated with his work in the development of the zipper.[1]


Otto Fredrik Gideon Sundbäck was born on Sonarp farm in Ödestugu Parish, in Jönköping County, Småland, Sweden. He was the son of Jonas Otto Magnusson Sundbäck, a prosperous farmer, and his wife Kristina Karolina Klasdotter. After his studies in Sweden, Sundbäck moved to Germany, where he studied at the polytechnic school in Bingen am Rhein, graduating in engineering in 1903. In 1905, he emigrated to the United States.[2][3][4]


On June 5, 1909, Sundbäck married (Naomi) Elvira Aronson, daughter of the Swedish-born plant manager Peter Aron Aronson (Aronsson), in Hoboken, New Jersey.[5]


In 2006, Sundbäck was honored by inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on the development of the zipper.[6][7] On April 24, 2012, the 132nd anniversary of Sundbäck’s birth, Google changed the Google logo on its homepage to a Google Doodle of the zipper, which when opened revealed the results of a search for Gideon Sundbäck.[8]

1917 patent[edit]

Sundbäck's U.S. patent 1,219,881 (filed in 1914, issued in 1917):


  1. ^ Gideon Sundback (National Inventors Hall of Fame Archived July 9, 2010, at the Wayback Machine)
  2. ^ Inventing the 20th century: 100 inventions that shaped the world: from the airplane to the zipper. NYU Press. May 2002. ISBN 9780814788127.
  3. ^ Petroski, Henry The Evolution of Useful Things (Random House of Canada, 1994) ISBN 0-679-74039-2 page 103
  4. ^ Biographical Dictionary of the History of Technology. Taylor & Francis. September 2003. p. 1181. ISBN 9780203028292.
  5. ^ Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty. W. W. Norton & Company. 1996. p. 74. ISBN 9780393313659.
  6. ^ Zipper: An exploration in novelty (Robert Friedel, author. W. W. Norton and Company, New York, 1996) ISBN 0-393-31365-4
  7. ^ Lightning Fastener Company Limited (Brock University)
  8. ^ "Gideon Sundback celebrated in a Google doodle". The Guardian. London. April 24, 2012. Retrieved April 24, 2012.

Other sources[edit]

  • Petroski, Henry (1992) The Evolution of Useful Things (Vintage Books) ISBN 0-679-74039-2
  • Friedel, Robert (1996) Zipper: An Exploration in Novelty (W. W. Norton and Company) ISBN 0-393-31365-4

External links[edit]