One of the world’s most widely-used items was patented on May 27, 1930, an offshoot of the increasing popularity of two-tone paint jobs for automobiles. Richard Drew of the 3M Company originally had developed an easy-to-peel, glue-backed masking tape to help painters keep sharp lines while applying different colors to cars. Then, he expanded its usefulness by introducing a clear backing. The result was an immediate hit, marketed under the name “Scotch” tape. Today, the clear tape is universally used. It’s just one of a family of adhesive products made in the U.S., generating sales of nearly $7.5 billion a year and providing jobs for more than 21,000 people.
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