Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Who would have thought zippers would end up being so interesting?  Well it all started when I was digging through a lot of sewing notions I picked up at an estate sale last year.  I needed some zippers for a new project I was working on and remembered I had all these sewing supplies.  

I pulled out all the zippers and was just about to tear into an unopened package when I realized this zipper was pretty darned old.  Suddenly the zipper was more than just a commodity, it was an antique!  I just couldn't do it.   Even something as common as a zipper suddenly seemed a lot more interesting because it was old.  I don't understand it, but that's how it was.  I couldn't bring myself to open the package.

Instead I headed to my computer to do a little research and found out some interesting things about my little Talon zipper.  

By the way, the first one pictured is dated 1947.  I found several other packages of Talon zippers all in packages that obviously changed with the times.  The next date is 1953, and the next one 1955.  After that, the packages were not dated, but changed drastically with the more contemporary modern look of the 70's. 

The Talon company was the original inventor of the zipper. It was first called a "hookless fastener" and became the "zipper" when the B.F. Goodrich company used them in 1923 on a new rainboot called The Zipper because it could be fastened with one hand in a "zip"!

It didn't take long for the zipper to catch on and by 1934  Fortune magazine reported "Today there is scarcely a well-dressed child who does not have at least one zipper in his wardrobe."  

And, the humble zipper might even be the credited with solving the mysterious disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart. 

A Talon zipper pull was found during the summer of 2007 on the South Pacific island of Nikumaroro, 2,600 miles due east of Papua, New Guinea, and about 300 miles south of the equator. The zipper pull was marked TALON down the length of it, which is the way these pulls were stamped in 1937, the year Amelia Earhart disappeared. 

Zippers are also used to help identify the age of vintage clothing since the size, shape and stamping on the pull changes over time. The Steel Zipper has some great pics of different brands and eras 

and has terrific ad copy like the one pictured left.  

OK, I think that's enough for now.  Like I said in my first post, this blogging thing is new to me. I don't know how to end it. I guess I'll just "zip" it up.

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