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From handbags and jackets to jeans and boots, it really is impossible to imagine life without the quietly functional life of zippers! These convenient little fasteners are so widespread that it is easy to take them for granted. But this is where National Zipper Day comes along to remind everyone of the origin and history of this truly omnipresent invention.

So it’s time to get zipping and celebrate the wonder of this incredibly useful tool on National Zipper Day!

History of National Zipper Day

The exact birthday of the zipper is rather up for debate because, instead of being “born” on a particular day, it sort of evolved over time. National Zipper Day is traditionally celebrated on April 29. On that date in 1913, Swedish-American scientist and inventor Gideon Sundback received a patent for this curious contraption he called “hook-less fastener”. Although similar inventions had been around since the 1850s, his version is widely accepted as the first modern zipper.

The name “zipper” seems to have made its way into common use due to a set of rubber boots that the fastener was used on in 1923. Marketed as galoshes that could be easily fastened with a single zip of the hand, and mirroring the sound that the fastener tends to make, the name “zipper” emerged and has stuck for a century.

The continuous fastening line found numerous applications and grew in popularity, also thanks to the US Army who stepped in as an early adopter. Functional, fashionable, infinitely adjustable – these qualities of Sundback’s design have helped popularize the invention and practically make every day National Zipper Day.

National Zipper Day offers a special opportunity to show appreciation for this humble, everyday convenience that is mostly taken for granted!

How to Celebrate National Zipper Day

On this day that celebrates the highly usual but important function of the zipper, consider some fun ways to observe the day. Get creative and get a start with some of these fun ideas for National Zipper Day:

Wear Lots of Zippers

Get into that wardrobe and pull out all the stops with any clothing that boasts a zipper. A zippered cardigan. Boots with zippers. Dress pants, jeans or a skirt that has a zipper, of course. And a light spring jacket or rain jacket with a zipper would be just the item to top it all off!

Those who are feeling extra festive could head over to a fabric store to the notions section and pick up a few stray zippers to simply pin or attach as decorations on a sweater, sweatshirt or other garment.

Back in the eighties, some costume jewelry makers featured earrings that were made from zipper pulls, so it might be fun to dig into the bottom of that jewelry box to pull out some of these to wear in celebration of National Zipper Day!

Share Some Fun Facts About Zippers 

Perhaps those average humans who are less inclined to be aware of such days that celebrate common items will need a bit of coaxing to draw them in for observing National Zipper Day. As a run up to the day, perhaps it would be fun to raise awareness by sharing some fun facts and tidbits of trivia to get folks excited about the day. Make comments about zippers casually at the water cooler or share them on social media. Here are some to begin with: 

  • YKK, a major producer of zippers, manufactures enough zippers each year to wrap around the world fifty times – 1.2 million miles worth! 

  • At first, zippers were mostly used for shoes and tobacco pouches. They didn’t come into popularity for clothing until a decade or two after their creation. 

  • Jeans were first made with button flys. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the Levi’s brand of jeans began employing a large number of zippers for their world famous jeans. 

  • The Quiaotou region of China makes the most zippers in the world. 

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