Today in 1913, a Swedish engineer named Gideon Sundback was living in Hoboken, New Jersey, when he patented the modern zipper under the name, “Hookless No. 2.” The public, however, was far from sold. Preachers initially called the device “the Devil’s fingers” because it eased the process of removing clothing. Other early zipper models were patented under names like “C-curity Fastener” and “The Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure.” It didn’t take off until a boot company adopted the technology for their “Zipper Boot,” launching both the method and the word into fame.

Vintage 1910s Hookless zipper money belt
WWI khaki 1917
Gideon Sundback Talon
via eBay

[h/t to The Writer’s Almanac for the lead in…]

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