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Scotch Tape Day – January 31, 2023

Scotch Tape Day is celebrated each year on January 31. A problem arose when cars needed to be painted in two tones and sections needed to be taped off to do so. That’s how Richard Drew ended up creating scotch tape. Today, this versatile invention is used to stick anything and everything.

History of Scotch Tape Day

In the early 1920s, Richard Drew worked at the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, which made sandpaper at the time. When he used to deliver sandpaper samples to auto body shops, he observed the inconvenience that car painters experienced when they had to paint two-tone color cars. At that time, surgical adhesive tapes or library glues were used to hold newspapers on cars when painting. However, when the newspapers were removed, residue remained and would rip the paint off when peeled off.

This inspired Drew to come up with a long-term and efficient solution. He went on to invent masking tape made out of crêpe paper, cabinetmaker’s glue, and glycerin. It adhered well to cars and came off easily without taking paint away. It was later marketed as Scotch Masking Tape.

Around the 1950s, the company introduced their mascot, “Scotty McTape”, who was declared a member of the Clan Wallace — the clan that William Wallace was from. The mascot started wearing red tartan and Wallace Hunting green plaid. However, he was jettisoned in the early 1970s. Nevertheless, to date, one can still find the green plaid on Scotch labels. Over the years, several manufacturers have started making transparent adhesive tape, however, many people still tend to call it Scotch Tape.

The invention of Scotch Tape, which can now be found in almost every home, resulted in Drew being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Scotch Tape Day timeline

1920s
The Idea for Scotch Tape

Drew gets inspired by DuPont’s cellophane to make a clear tape.

1930
Scotch Tape is Marketed

One year after Drew begins work on his tape idea, the product is revealed to the public on January 31.

1939
Tape Dispenser

The snail-shaped handheld tape dispenser is created.

1944
Scotch Tape Mascot

The company mascot “Scotty McTape” first appears.

Scotch Tape Day FAQs

Why do they call it Scotch Tape?

The use of the term ‘Scotch’ in the name was ‘parsimonious’ some decades ago. Later, the brand name Scotch came about while Richard Drew was testing his first masking tape.

What is the generic name for Scotch Tape?

Scotch Tape is the brand name. In the U.S., people use ‘cellophane tape’ as the generic name for clear sticky tape.

Does Scotch Tape work on plastic?

Scotch Tape adheres to many surfaces including paper, plastic, glass, wood, cement, and metal. It doesn’t require extra water or any solvent to make it stick.

Scotch Tape Day Activities

  1. Produce art from Scotch Tape

    If you have spare Scotch Tape lying around, you can get creative with it and create art. Decorate an empty bottle with tape or make figurines with it. You can even create a Halloween costume from Scotch Tape.

  2. Paint your car

    Scotch Tape was initially invented to solve the issue of painting cars in two tones. If you’ve been meaning to transform your car, add a splash of color to it and use Scotch Tape to cover the areas you don’t want to paint.

  3. Make decorations

    You can make small balls from Scotch Tape, cover them in fairy lights, and hang these around your house. It will provide a cozy atmosphere. You can even make Christmas tree ornaments.

5 Facts About Scotch Tape That Will Stick With You

  1. Brand name

    Scotch Tape is actually a trademark and a brand name used for pressure-sensitive tapes.

  2. First transparent adhesive

    Scotch Tape is the world's first transparent adhesive tape.

  3. Mending currency

    Banks used Scotch Tape to mend torn currency during the Great Depression.

  4. Goodyear Blimp

    Scotch Tape has been used as an anti-corrosive shield on the Goodyear Blimp.

  5. Scotch Tape for the military

    During World War 2, the military wanted all Scotch Tape and, hence, sales were prohibited to civilians.

Why We Love Scotch Tape Day

  1. It celebrates the mundane

    Scotch Tape is as mundane as it gets. It’s used for sticking things together, however, it still remains essential. Scotch Tape Day celebrates the mundane by appreciating this overlooked item that has so many benefits and uses.

  2. Scotch Tape has a wide range of applications

    Scotch tape can be used for a wide variety of things. You can use it to repair things, mend books, apply nail paint, seal cracked eggs, seal cracked ceiling plaster, and so much more.

  3. It’s found in every home

    Owing to its versatility, you can find Scotch Tape in almost every household. Every time something needs sealing or sticking, you instantly think of this handy product.

Scotch Tape Day dates

YearDateDay
2023January 31Tuesday
2024January 31Wednesday
2025January 31Friday
2026January 31Saturday
2027January 31Sunday

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