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Moseyin’ Along

The magic roll with a thousand uses

July 9, 2015
By Joyce Schenk , Westfield Republican

While browsing the web the other day, I came across a web site for that amazing product found in every home, duct tape.

In its purest form, it's sticky on one side, silver on the other and has no equal for creative uses.

According to the web site, the sturdy tape was developed by Johnson and Johnson during WWII. During that conflict, the need arose for a tape that was durable, waterproof, and strong and could be easily ripped.

The first versions of the tape came out in only one color: GI green.

After the war, the tape became a standard product for holding together ductwork, replacing the screws traditionally used. Thus, the product became known as duct tape. And the GI green color was changed to the silvery grey known by every do-it-yourselfer.

If you've visited one of the big box stores lately, or stopped by your favorite hardware, you've discovered that the standard silver has been shoved aside for a rainbow collection of colors and patterns. Duct tape has definitely come of age.

The tape is widely known to handle countless no-brainer repairs in every aspect of our lives. It's the obvious choice whether for bike seat restoration, taping boxes for shipping or storage or overcoming the splinters on the handles of aging garden tools.

And, while reading over the information posted on the web site devoted to duct tape, I came across dozens of uses ranging from clever to off-the-wall.

For instance, one report posted by a pair of teens told the story of a pet turtle who had been run over by a car. The young guys immediately reached for the duct tape and repaired the turtle's broken shell before rushing it to the vet. The animal doctor told the pair their action with the tape had saved the pet's life.

Another incident, reported by a group of campers, told the tale of one hiker placing his boots too close to the campfire. As a result, the toes on the boots were melted, making the footwear unusable for hiking. But, once again, with duct tape to the rescue, the boots were repaired...not attractively but sturdily...and the hiking trip resumed successfully.

A wide variety of other uses for the tape were listed on the site including fashioning wallets, purses, flower rings and picture frames.

And, while looking into the tape story, I even came across some high schools that held creative contests at prom time. The goal was for couples to make their prom outfits completely of duct tape. How the contestants managed to dance in such "clothing" remains a mystery.

One devoted fan of both duct tape and Star Wars summed up his perspective when he said, "Duct tape is like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side and it holds the universe together."



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