HUFFINGTON POST

Gideon Sundback, Zipper Engineer, Celebrated With Interactive Google Doodle (VIDEO)

04/24/2012 09:08 am ET | Updated Apr 24, 2012

Google is looking fly today!

The search engine is celebrating the 132nd birthday of Gideon Sundback, a Swedish engineer credited with helping to develop the modern zipper, with a large, interactive zipper in place of its usual logo that allows users to unzip their search results.

Sundback wasn't the very first to conceive of a zipper-like device -- that distinction goes to Elias Howe, who patented the "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure" in 1851, as well as Whitcomb Judson, who, in 1893, developed the "Clasp Locker" (which you can see here) and is credited with being the inventor of the zipper.

But Sundback made refinements to Judson's design in and in 1913 produced a device that was more practical and marketable. According to the Washington Post, Sundback "increased the number of teeth on the zipper and nearly tripled the number of the zipper’s teeth per square inch," "scoop-dimpled the teeth to strenghthen the closure," and "created the slider for opening and closing the interlocking mechanism." Sundback patented the "Separable Fastener" in 1917 and is considered the brains behind the zippers in use today.

The Lemelson-MIT Program notes that credit for giving the device a catchy name goes to yet another man: "The term 'zipper' was coined as an onomatopoeia by B. F. Goodrich, whose company started marketing galoshes featuring the fastener in 1923."

Check out Google's Sundback doodle in action in the video below, or try it for yourself by visiting Google.com.

Check out more of our favorite Google Doodles below:

Google Doodle Slideshow
Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS