Monday, April 2, 2012

This Day in History April 2, 1978

You probably don't recognize this, but I bet you use it regularly.  And on this date in 1978, it was first released.
It probably looks more normal now.  And this hook-and-loop fastener was developed by Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral.  In 1948, he noticed that there were some thistle burrs sticking to his clothes after a hunting trip.  He examined these burrs microscopically, and he noticed the small hooks on these burrs.  From 1948, he worked with a local weaver to create a locking tape that would simulate what he had seen in nature.  He accidentally discovered that nylon, when sewn under ultraviolet light, formed hooks that were virtually indestructible.  The term "velcro" comes from "vel" for velvet and "cro" from the French word crochet (hook).  Although initially met with laughter, Velcro has become a multi-million dollar business!

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