🤐 The Invention of the Zipper

Henry Belcaster
Henry Belcaster
3 min read

Morning fly guy!

If you’re familiar with Aeropostale – or the days of Abercrombie stores that had two jacked, shirtless body guards waiting to greet you out front – you’ll remember this:

Oops, those are sexy blonde tips from my illicit Hollister archives. I meant this:

You see that?

It has the dreaded BUTTON FLY.

Is this button fly a first world problem?


Do I care?

No. These things SUCKED for quickly getting your privates back into safety.

Especially with all of those middle school hormones flying around.

So I went down a rabbit hole for us to figure out how we got zippers in the first place.

The quest starts in 1893 with this guy from Chicago.

Guess his super Chicago name..

Come on, just do it!!


Say ‘hi’ to Whitcomb Judson.

And Whitcomb – oh my god I can’t with that name – Whitcomb’s got a good friend with a not-so-good back.

So Whitcomb decides there must be a better way to fasten shoes. Especially for the frail, stale, and old.

He hits right back with this classic, crooked text 1893 patent:

The “Clasp Locker Or Unlocker For Shoes.”

I get it was 1893 and all, but, Whitcomb, did you really have to come up with such a ridiculous name?


So this was cool. We had a patent for the first zipper-y thing but it was really just too complicated.

It used a hook and eye fastener system to “zip” things shut, but it got jammed all the time.

Lucky for Whitcomb – omg… – he had a whole zipper factory at this point.

So his head designer – Gideon Sundback – sits him down.

And together they had invented a new, simpler zipper!

The separable fastener.

It was cheaper, more durable, and easier to use than Whitcomb’s original clasp locker or unlocker.

So cheap and durable and easy, in fact, the US started using Gideon’s zippers in all of their WWII uniforms.

After the war, Levi’s added the first zipper to their jeans which started a zipper fly movement.

And today we have nobody to thank but Whitcomb and Gideon for their sacrifice to help make button flys a remnant of the past.

Stay Cute,
Henry & Dylan 🌈

P.S if you enjoyed this lesson, forward it to a friend.

If you’re that sexy friend, subscribe here.

P.P.S Click below to watch the zipper video 👇


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