Fact File: Who invented Duct Tape? Invention: Duct Tape *** Date of Invention: 1942 *** Name of Inventor:
Vesta Stoudt *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: WW2 Era (1939 - 1945) *** Country of Origin: America *** The Inventor and Invention of
Duct Tape ***
Is it Duck Tape or Duct Tape? Its waterproof qualities and mallard green color led to the nickname "Duck Tape". The tape was so versatile that it gained a vast variety of other uses and repair work. After the war it was used to connect heating and air conditioning ducts and manufacturers changed the color to silver to match the ducts which led to its name "Duct Tape".
Fact 1: Who invented Duct Tape? Duct Tape was invented by Vesta Stoudt
and the product was developed by Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division in 1942
during the WW2 Era (1939 - 1945).
Fact 2: Who invented Duct Tape?
Prior to the invention of Duct Tape in 1942, the box flaps of waxed ammunition
boxes were sealed with tabs made with thin paper tape. The paper-thin pull tabs
were not strong enough and frequently came off leaving soldiers, often under the
pressure of enemy fire, desperately clawing open the boxes to get to their ammo.
Who invented Duct Tape? It took the persistence of Vesta Stoudt to get
someone to resolve this seemingly trivial problem which could be costing the
lives of soldiers who were fighting for their country.
Who invented Duct Tape? The inventor of duct tape, Vesta Stoudt, was born in
Prophetstown a city in Whiteside County, Illinois. Her father was Ulysses
Simpson Grant Wildman (1864 - 1958) and her mother's name was Gertrude Caroline
Johnson Wildman (1872 - 1955).
Fact 5: Who invented Duct Tape? Vesta Wildman married Harry Issac Stoudt
(1886 - 1954) and the couple had two sons, Raymond and Clarence and two
daughters named Ruth and Donna who they raised in Sterling, Whiteside County.
Fact 6: Who invented Duct Tape? The life of Vesta Stoudt was turned
upside down when WW2 broke out. Her two sons were enlisted in the Navy. Like so
many women of the era, Vesta Stoudt took a job at the self contained Green River
Arsenal between Dixon and Amboy in Lee County, Illinois to play her part in the
war effort on the home front.
Fact 7: Who invented Duct Tape? The Green River Ordnance Plant (GROP) was
a large munitions factory complex that had been rapidly constructed in 1942. The
"Green Riverites" were mainly women, housewives who had never worked before, who
soon became used to handling ammunition and explosives.
Fact 8: Who invented Duct Tape? The Green River Ordnance Plant employed
some 4,500 workers working with bombs, bazookas, rifle grenades, shells,
detonators and live ammunition. Vesta Stoudt was just one of these patriotic
Americans who wanted to help their country.
Fact 9: Who invented Duct Tape? Vesta Stoudt worked on a team whose job
was to pack cartridges (bullets) used to launch rifle grenades
Fact 10: Who invented Duct Tape? After packing 11 cartridges in their
strong, waxed, waterproof and damp-proof box Vesta Stoudt began to notice that
the thin paper tape used to seal the box flaps was just not up to the job.
Fact 11: Who invented Duct Tape? The thin paper tape was just not strong
enough, it came off two easily which would leave soldiers with no alternative
but to prise the wax coated boxes apart with their fingers.
Fact 12: Who invented Duct Tape? As the mother of two Navy sailors Vesta
Stoudt became convinced that the problem could result in lost lives.
Fact 13: Who invented Duct Tape? Vesta Stoudt came up with a solution
when she had the idea of using a strong, waterproof, cloth-backed tape to seal
the seams and make a new pull tab that could be opened in a split second. She
put her idea of using a fabric tape to her supervisors and to Ordnance Plant
inspectors but their response was less than enthusiastic and she could find no
one would would take her idea seriously.
Fact 14: Who invented Duct Tape? The tenacious Vesta Stoudt was
absolutely convinced that her idea was right and she wrote a letter to the
President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, outlining her idea and
enclosing a diagram. Like other patriotic Americans Vesta Stoudt listened on the
radio to FDR's 'Fireside Chats'. These informal 'Fireside Chats' enabled the
president to speak directly to the American people as if they were close friends
and Vesta Stoudt felt confident that FDR would listen to her.
Fact 15: Who invented Duct Tape? Vesta Stoudt was right. President
Franklin Roosevelt did listen and her idea was passed to War Production Board
and Vesta Stoudt's proposal was forwarded to a division of Johnson and Johnson
that developed various types of industrial tapes.
Fact 16: Who invented Duct Tape? Vesta Stoudt heard nothing further about
the progress of her invention. This was not unusual as during the war all new
ideas were classified as 'Top Secret'.
Fact 17: Who invented Duct Tape? Her idea had been passed to a team at
Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division, headed by Johnny Denoye and Bill Gross,
who developed a prototype for the product and Duct Tape was produced in 1942.
Fact 18: Who invented Duct Tape? Johnson & Johnson's new product was made
of thin, lightweight fabric known as cotton duck, duck cloth or duck canvas. The
cotton duck cloth was coated in waterproof polyethylene plastic and its reverse
had a layer of rubber-based gray adhesive that Johnson & Johnson branded as "Polycoat".
Fact 19: Who invented Duct Tape? The new product was colored in
matte olive drab color as a standard military shade. It was nicknamed "duck
tape" by the soldiers, perhaps after the duck cloth material but more likely as
a humerous reference to green colored mallard ducks.
Fact 20: Who invented Duct Tape? The "duck tape" was easy to apply and
remove, the main requirement for Vesta Stoudt's idea. Thre product was strong
but could easily ripped off without the use of a knife or scissors. The new
product was so successful that it was soon adapted to make emergency repairs to
different types of military equipment, including vehicles and weapons.
Fact 21: Who invented Duct Tape? On March 26, 1943 Vesta Stoudt received
a letter from Howard Coonley, a director of War Production Board, telling her
that her idea had been approved and commented that her idea was of "exceptional
Fact 22: Who invented Duct Tape? WW2 ended in 1945 and the versatile
"Duck Tape" was adapted to suit various industries and popular for helping with
household repairs. It was particularly useful for connecting heating and air
conditioning ducts and manufacturers changed the color of the product to
silver to match the ducts - which led to its name "Duct Tape".
Fact 23: Who invented Duct Tape? Vesta O Stoudt, the inventor of Duct
Tape, died on May 9, 1966 at the Whiteside County Nursing home, Illinois
following a long illness and was buried in Oak Knoll Memorial Park Sterling.