Vesta Stoudt

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Vesta Stoudt
BornApr 13, 1891
Prophetstown, Illinois
DiedMay 9, 1966
Occupationfactory worker
Known forduct tape

Vesta Oral Stoudt (Apr 13, 1891 - May 9, 1966) was the woman who had the foundational idea for duct tape.[1]

Stout worked at the Green River Ordinance Plant in Dixon, Illinois packing ammunition boxes.[2] She recognized that the way ammunition boxes were sealed made them difficult for soldiers to open in a hurry.[3][4] She suggested this idea to her bosses at work who didn't implement the change.[5] On February 10, 1943, she wrote a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt explaining the problem and offering a solution. Her idea was to seal boxes with a waterproof, tearable cloth tape which she created and tested at her job.[6]

I suggested we use a strong cloth tape to close seams, and make tab of same. It worked fine, I showed it to different government inspectors they said it was all right, but I could never get them to change tape.

— Vesta Stoudt to President Roosevelt, Feb. 10, 1943[5]

Roosevelt approved of the idea which he sent to the War Production Board who wrote back to Stoudt.

The Ordnance Department has not only pressed this idea...but has now informed us that the change you have recommended has been approved with the comment that the idea is of exceptional merit.

— War Production Board's Ordnance Department to Vesta Stoudt, March 26, 1943,[7]

They tasked the Industrial Tape Corporation to create the product. Stoudt received Chicago Tribune’s War Worker Award for her idea, and her persistence with it.


  1. ^ "Vesta Oral Wildman Stoudt". Find A Grave. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  2. ^ "The Rad Scientist – Duct Tape". Madison and Cathedral. 2014-12-13. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  3. ^ "SPECIAL HISTORY issue - Duct Tape on a Roll". The Duct Tape Guys. 1943-10-24. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  4. ^ Steven, Emma (2018-02-09). "Meet the Determined Woman Who Invented Duct Tape". Content Lab - U.S. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  5. ^ a b Gurowitz, Margaret (Jun 21, 2012). "The Woman Who Invented Duct Tape". Kilmer House. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  6. ^ Owens, Carole (1900-01-01). "Carole Owens: Women routinely denied their due". The Berkshire Eagle. Retrieved 2019-01-20.
  7. ^ GIULIANI, DAVID (2014-04-21). "Sterling woman credited with idea for stronger tape". Retrieved 2019-01-20.