Burr of invention In the 1940s, Swiss engineer George de Mestral hiked in the woods and pondered the burrs that attached to his clothes and his dog’s fur. After examining the burrs under a microscope, he spent years working to recreate what he’d seen– finally inventing what’s now called “velcro”. –livescience.com
You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.
Do you ever use VELCRO®? It’s a handy tool for fastening and unfastening things quickly. Did you know that the brand name VELCRO® is made up from the words velvet and crochet? How cool! But the reason why it’s made up of those two words is because when the inventor was creating it, he used velvet material and a piece of crochet work with hoops as a sample. After many more years of researching better materials, like nylon, cotton and polyester, VELCRO® was patented in 1955 by Swiss engineer George de Mestral.
It all began one day when Mr. de Mestral was outside with his dog in the woods. When they came home, both were covered with burrs. Mr. de Mestral took one of those burrs and looked it over under the microscope. That’s when he noticed the little hooks. Most other soft material, and even animal fur, would be prone to the burrs’ hooks and adhere itself.
Sometimes, when something new is invented it often takes awhile before people come to realize its full potential and how they can use it. The same was definitely the case with VELCRO®.
Two distinct parties really helped to get the idea of VELCRO® off the ground (and into space!). The first was NASA. In the 60s, the scientists were looking for a way to keep things tacked down inside the ship while it was in space. It wasn’t long before they realized they had the perfect tool with VELCRO®. It was a great success.
The other party that helped to boost awareness of this multi-use product was a few famous fashion designers. They used this new invention on their futuristic clothing designs.
Well, today we use VELCRO® maybe even more than zippers and buttons! It is also used widely in office, medical and therapy materials. Today, there are many uses for VELCRO®! Have you had the fun of having a pair of VELCRO® shoes? Putting them on and off is so much faster than having to tie them! However, that’s not to say we shouldn’t learn how to tie things. Keep exercising your faith as we learn more fun things everyday!
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