Monday, March 14, 2011

Office Supply of the Month | Adhesive tape

This month's office supply isn't really just relegated to the office. I keep it at my desk, in my toolbox, in the living room, you name it. It's the sticky stuff! There are a multitude of tape options to choose from: clear tape, packing tape, duct tape, masking tape, double-sided tape, painter's tape, paper (washi) tape, electrical tape, surgical tape.

Tape is pretty simple. It all starts with adhesive, which can take on natural or synthetic forms. The earliest found adhesive substance dates back to 4000 BC and is believed to be made of tree sap. In the centuries following, other adhesives were found and made, most commonly from fish and fish parts, but also from animal bones, milk, rubber, and starch. The first patent for an adhesive was issued in Britain in 1750; many others soon followed.

Other fun dates:
1921 - The Band-Aid is invented by an employee of Johnson and Johnson.
1925 - An engineer at the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (now 3M) creates masking tape to prevent the bleed-through common to cloth-backed tape when spray-painting automobiles.
1930 - A clear tape called Scotch Brand Cellulose was invented by the same 3M engineer.
1942 - Johnson and Johnson creates duct tape, a waterproof and super-grippy tape, for use in World War II to seal canisters and repair equipment in the field. Duct tape is basically cloth tape coated in polyethylene.

Sticking things together
Taping up a hem
Labelling your lunch
Water/smudge-proofing (tape over ink)
French manicure guide
Tape over wires to avoid tripping
Taping down a collar
Repairing things
Reinforcing holes in punched paper
Lint roller (roll a piece of tape adhesive side out, slip over finger, and roll over clothes)
Keep belt ends down
Clean between keyboard keys
Fix shoelace ends
Taping a heel tap back on

Fun with adhesive tape

What is your favorite kind of tape? Your favorite use for tape?


  1. how interesting! i never knew about the history of tape really. and i've totally used it to tape up shoelaces. :)

    cute & little
    come join the color brigade!

  2. i love double sided tape. it works just as good as regular tape, except that it's "invisible." and electrical tape is awesome too, comes in many different colors, comes off clean, and is cheap!

  3. You can use colored gaffers tape to make hula hoops! Use black insulation tubing to make the hoop and then wrap it in gaffers tape so that it is colorful and "grips" to your body. We also used colored gaffers tape to create the roller derby track for bouts.

  4. @ kileen - I KNOW! Who knew it went so far back?

    @ step - I love double-sided tape, too. I was a total looper, but I love how flat double-sided tape leaves things.

    @ ms. ten - That is a great idea! You do roller derby? Step and I (and our gals) just went in LA a few weeks ago. That is awesome!!

  5. This is a great info, Very helpful. Thanks for sharing.
    Ergonomic Office Chair


Like this? Leave a comment!
Comments with emails attached will receive emailed replies; otherwise replies will be added below the original comment.