Fact File about the Invention of Velcro: Date of Invention: 1948 *** Name of Inventor: George de Mestral *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1907 - 1990 *** Nationality of Inventor: Swiss *** Historical Period: Cold War *** Category: Textiles *** Country of Origin: Switzerland *** Facts about the Inventor, George de Mestral, and his invention ***
Fact 1: Who invented Velcro? Velcro was invented by George de Mestral in 1948 during the Cold War era of inventions and a major advancement in the area of Textiles.
Fact 5: Who invented Velcro? George de Mestral was an extremely intelligent and curious child and received his first invention patent in 1919, at age 12, for designing a toy plane.
Fact 6: Who invented Velcro? George de Mestral was educated at Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne (EPFL) where he studied electrical engineering. Following his graduation in 1930 he was employed as an engineer in a machine shop of a Swiss engineering company.
Fact 7: Who invented Velcro? Like many inventions Velcro was not planned it was an accident, inspired by a common, everyday event. In 1948 George de Mestral went on vacation to the Jura Mountains in the Alps. Accompanied by his Irish pointer they enjoyed a hike but were plagued by cockleburs (Xanthium), a tall plant covered with stiff, hooked spines, that stuck to his clothing and to his dog's fur.
Fact 9: Who invented Velcro? George de Mestral realized that the tiny burr hooks were catching, although temporarily, to fabric hooks in his clothing.
Fact 10: Who invented Velcro? It was a "Eureka" moment for George de Mestral who recognized the potential of a similar man-made fastener.
Fact 11: Who invented Velcro? The invention of 'Velcro' was to take eight years of experimentation and development to perfect the invention. George de Mestral experimented with combinations of numerous types of fabrics and materials only to find that the loops were too big for the hooks, or vice versa.
Fact 13: Who invented Velcro? George de Mestral called his invention "Velcro", from the French words 'VELour', meaning "velvet") and 'CROchet' meaning "hook". The trademark name Velcro was officially registered on May 13, 1958.
Fact 15: Who invented Velcro? In 1952 he established the first of all Velcro companies Velcro S.A., in Switzerland to manufacture his new hook and loop fasteners, which contained 300 hooks and loops per square inch.
Fact 15: Who invented Velcro? The mass production of Velcro proved problematical due to the limitations of existing manufacturing technology so George de Mestral designed a special machine to duplicate the hooks and loops. On September 13, 1955 a U.S. Patent No. 2,717,437 was issued to George de Mestral for "Velvet Type Fabric and Method of Producing the Same".
Fact 16: Who invented Velcro? The invention of Velcro, marketed as a "zipperless zipper", was not an overnight success, however NASA found numerous uses for this invention for their astronauts on missions in space. The lack of gravity in space creates a weightless environment and means when an item is put down it will float away. Velcro was used by the astronauts to attach items to the space craft, to stop items such as food or trash floating away, and to get in and out of these space suits easily.
Fact 17: Who invented Velcro? The invention of Velcro became a huge success and was perceived as a modern, space-age fabric. In 1968, Puma became the first major shoe company to offer a sneaker with Velcro fasteners, quickly followed by Adidas and Reebok.
Fact 17: Who invented Velcro? George De Mestral unsuccessfully tried to update his patent and it expired in 1978
Fact 18: Who invented Velcro? The invention of Velcro is now used in an assortment of other items such as jackets, backpacks, wallets, watchbands and toys like child safe dart boards. It is particularly favored in ski-suits and scuba diving gear. It is also used for making blood pressure cuffs.
Fact 19: Who invented Velcro? George de Mestral died on February 8, 1990 in Commugny, Switzerland. He was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1999 for inventing hook and loop fasteners commonly known as Velcro.