Gideon Sundback, the Swedish-American electrical engineer, has been featured in a Google doodle today to celebrate his 132nd birth anniversary.
Mainly known for his work in the development of the zipper, Soundback was born in Sweden in 1880, later he moved to Germany after finishing his schooling and joined a polytechnic school.
Gideon Sundback emigrated to United States in 1905 and was hired to work for the Universal Fastener Company the next year. This was the start of his work with the zipper, Sundback made several advances in the development of the zipper between 1906 and 1914.
Before Sundback’s intervention, the idea for a fastener based on interlocking teeth had circulated among engineers for more than 20 years but no one had perfected it.
His innovation was to place a dimple on the underside of each tooth and a nib on the top that would sit securely within the dimple of the tooth above it.
As a result, the join between two rows of teeth was then strong because no single tooth has enough room to move up or down and come apart. He also created the manufacturing machine for the new zipper.
In 1914, Gideon developed a version of zipper based on interlocking teeth, the “Hookless No. 2”, which was the base of modern metal zipper. He later got a United States patent no. 1219881 for the “Separable Fastener”.
Sundback was not only involved in the invention of modern zipper but also created the manufacturing machine for the new zipper. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences in 1951. Gideon died of a heart condition in 1954 and was honoured by inclusion in the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on the development of the zipper.