Zippers have seen the best and worst of times and today, you will get a glimpse of their journey from their earliest beginnings to their modern day glory.

It Apparently Started with Zip ‘er Up

The name “Hookless Fastener” doesn’t really roll off the tongue well, but it got stuck for some time and “zipper” was a name that wasn’t used until 10 years after the issuance of Sundback’s patent. The B.F. Goodrich Company used the Hookless Fastener for the galoshes lines in 1923, and one employee who was trying them out was believed to have said something along the lines of “Zip ‘er up!” after hearing the sliding fastener’s unique sound.

The company had the name Zipper registered in 1925 as a trademark.

B.F. Goodrich tried protecting the trademark as the term zipper rose to popularity. Lightning Fastener Co. challenged its control of the name in 1931 in the Supreme Court of Canada, in a lawsuit that was dismissed with some costs. 

The trademark rights of B.F. Goodrich were ultimately limited particularly to the name “Zipper Boots.”

An Issue of Moral Corruption

Originally, the zipper was used in bags that were used to hold tobacco and footwear.

It was a hard sell back in the earlier days for consumer clothing as critics deemed the zipper as a morally corrupt invention which only made it too easy and simple to remove a person’s pants. 

But, it wasn’t a cause of worry for the army. The U.S. military was even the first major customer and they used zippers in uniforms and gears issued to the troops during World War One.

The Prince of Wales Had a Role to Play

The industries of adult fashion and children’s clothing didn’t start the use of zippers in large numbers until the 1930s came.

It was the Prince of Wales who gave a nudge to things when he used the zip fly into his own wardrobe in 1934. 

It was also during around that same year when the designer Elsa Schiaparelli started to add zippers to her avant-garde gowns and sportswear.

It was not until 1937 when Zippers really took off when they captured the attention of several French fashion designers. 

Levi’s launched the special zippered version of their overalls in 1954 called the 501Z that replaced the button-fly. The company soon brought in zippers across their jeans like but it only happened during 1970s.

Millions of Zippers 

During the initial year of production, the company of Sundback was producing around 100 meters of zippers per day, with the numbers enough for around 700 pairs of pants.

One huge modern plant can actually produce zippers for over 7 million pairs of pants in just one day.

Zippers still went through so many ups and downs before they became the treasured pieces that they are today. A proof of this glory is the high number of zipper manufacturers in the market right now and one of these is none other than