Essay Richard Drew and His Revolutionary Invention: Scotch Tape

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An Auto shop Miracle: Scotch Tape

The 1920s, an era commonly known as the “Roaring Twenties” was a time period filled with various new and innovative inventions. Starting off as a simple fix to a common problem, scotch tape was introduced in 1925 by a humble engineer, Richard Drew. Almost a century has passed since Richard Drew’s invention of scotch tape, and it is still used for various uses.

The inventor, Richard Drew, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota. After dropping out of college, he miraculously obtained a job, working for the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company or more commonly known as 3M. Drew was hired to take trial products to auto shops around the city. A prevalent problem that auto shop workers faced when painting cars in the 1920s was the residue of the tape that was left after tearing the tape off. Drew, wanting to solve the problem, decided to design a new type of tape that would not leave residue, or diminish the color of the paint job. After trying various techniques and different materials, he found his fix, and in 1925, 3M launched Richard Drew’s masking tape, calling it “Scotch Brand Masking Tape”. Five years later, in 1930, Richard Drew invented a different type of tape, one which we are more familiar with, Scotch Brand Cellulose Tape, or “Scotch Brand Transparent Tape”. This tape, which was originally marketed towards grocer, bakers, and meatpackers, could withstand a large range of temperature and humidity levels, and most…

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