When Was Tape Invented? [Who, Where & How]

Are you looking for information about the history of tape? It is one of the most important inventions and you probably don’t even know about it. Have you ever asked yourself: “When was tape invented?”

The tape was invented in 1845 by the doctor Horace Day, who used it to bandage wounds. As the years went by, its purpose and use spread around the world. Initially, the tape was made from cotton. It was later replaced with other materials such as plastic, paper, and metal.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the history behind where tape comes from and why it’s become such a staple in our everyday lives. We’ll also go into more detail about some of the most common tapes that are used today. Let’s check it together!

When Was Tape Invented and Why?

Why is it called tape

Many people are wondering when was tape invented. The tape was invented in 1845 by a doctor named Horace Day. 

Originally, it was used as an adhesive bandage for patients.

The first adhesive tape was made from linen thread and shellac. Later, cellulose acetate was used to make a stronger tape that could be used for many purposes. 

In the 1960s, polyester became popular because it is strong, but also flexible and can be easily attached to various surfaces.

The invention of tape was inspired by the need to quickly and efficiently wrap up wounds during the Civil War. 

The first adhesive bandages were made of paper and gum arabic, which would dry and harden into a protective shell around injured tissue. 

These bandages were not very strong, so they needed to be changed regularly.

Below you can find the list of the most popular types of tape.


Scotch tape was invented in 1930 by Richard Drew, who worked as an engineer at 3M Company. 

He was working on a tape machine that would be used to seal packages at the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (now 3M). 

They called it Scotch because of the adhesive’s durability.


It was the first commercial tape, invented by surgeon Horace Day in 1845. 

He made it from linen thread coated with rubber dissolved in turpentine and applied it to wounds as an antiseptic bandage before discovering its value as an adhesive.

They were widely used in Victorian medicine until the introduction of latex gloves during World War II made them obsolete for medical applications.

Today, every first aid kit has adhesive tape as a mandatory piece of equipment. 


It was originally patented by the 3M company in 1946. It was called the No. 33 Tape and it was produced in white or yellow color. 

This type of tape is used for insulation purposes in wires and cables so they don’t touch each other when they have connected together at one end or both ends of the connection point.

This type of tape has an adhesive layer that is resistant to weather conditions and makes the tape ideal for outdoor purposes.

For example: connecting wires or covering exposed areas like metal pipes with insulation.


Sticky tape is the most popular type of tape. It’s multi-purpose and can be used for anything from wrapping presents to holding up posters or even affixing notes to a door. 

It’s one of the best ways to keep things together without having to spend money on extra tools.

Sticky tape comes in many different colors, sizes, and textures. 

You can find it at any store that sells office supplies, as well as online stores like Amazon.


Duct tape was invented by Vesta Stoudt in 1943 and was used for military purposes. 

This type of tape is made from polyethylene plastic with a rubber-based adhesive, which makes it very sturdy and durable. 

Duct tape is a strong, waterproof cloth that can be used for various things such as holding things together, fixing broken things, making temporary repairs, and more.

 Duct tape is often referred to as just “duct” or “duck” tape.


It’s a brand of tape produced by the Swift Response company. It’s a relatively new product, produced since 2011, and it is best used for packaging. 

The tape is very flexible, which makes it easy to use in different types of packaging applications.


Magnetic tape is a type of medium that’s been used for audio and recording since 1928.

It’s created by coating a plastic film with iron oxide, which is then magnetized by exposure to an external magnetic field.


Masking tape is commonly used for painting as well as for protection against paint overspray or other messes during construction projects or home improvement tasks like wallpapering or shelving installation. 

Masking tape has an easy-to-peel backing that makes it easy to remove without damaging surfaces underneath (like drywall).

Who Invented Tape?

when was adhesive tape made

The tape was invented by American surgeon Horace Day in 1845. 

He was trying to find a way to repair his injured finger and wound up using a strip of paper bandage that he had left over from an earlier surgery.

Horace was a well-known figure in the medical community, and it’s not hard to see why.

He had such a passion for improving health care that he devoted himself to making sure his patients got the best treatment possible. 

He was also a pioneer in the field of anesthesia, developing techniques that were used throughout the world until they were superseded by better ones later on.

Who Invented Adhesive Tape?

In 1845, doctor Horace Day invented adhesive tape. 

He was a surgeon in the United States and he used tape to keep wounds closed while they healed. 

The tape was made out of cotton and glue, and it kept wounds closed for many years.

The idea came to him after watching his wife struggle with the pain of varicose veins. 

He thought that if he could create a bandage that would stay on her legs, it might help her feel better.

Who Invented the Tape Measure?

The tape measure was invented in 1829 by James Chesterman, a British metalworker who patented this invention. He created it intending to help other metalworkers.

The tape measure is used to measure lengths and distances that are too long to be measured by hand.

Chesterman was initially inspired by the idea of using a flexible metal tape to measure things when he saw an instrument used by shipbuilders and carpenters.

How is Tape Made?

So, how is a tape made? Tape is made by mixing a synthetic transparent cellulose acetate film with a sticky rubber resin. 

The film, which is usually clear, is coated with the resin and wound around a core.

Tape is made in a process called calendering, where layers of material are laid down and heated until they become fused together. 

After the tape has been calendered, it goes through a drying process and then gets cut into shape. 

Finally, the adhesive backing on each piece of tape is peeled off and affixed to an adhesive pad on the roll.

The tape is wound on reels and dried in an oven at about 150°C (300°F). 

The resulting tape has a sticky surface that can be used for holding things together or for wrapping things up.

The History of Tape

The history of tape is quite an interesting one. Everything started in 1845 with doctor Horace Day. 

He was the first who used adhesive tape to treat wounds. He made it from surgical plaster and linen thread. 

This material was used by many doctors and nurses in the world, until 1928 when Johnson & Johnson started to use this material for medical purposes.

In 1912, Richard Gurley Drew was born on March 7th, in Atlanta, Georgia. 

He was an inventor who worked for 3M (Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company) as a chemist and engineer. 

During his career at 3M, he developed many products, including Scotch brand masking tape and Scotch brand transparent tape (1924).

They became very popular during World War II because soldiers could write on them without making ink visible on their hands or clothes.


Let’s check some of the most frequently asked questions about when was tape invented.

What was tape first used for?

Tape is made from a variety of materials, including paper, cloth, plastic, and rubber. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including packaging, protection, and isolation.

Why is it called tape?

The name comes from the Latin word “tapete” which means “carpet.” The name tape comes from the fact that this type of cloth had been used for making tapestries for many years before there were any tapes.

What is the world’s strongest tape?

T-Rex Brute Force tape is the strongest tape in the world. It has a tensile strength of 130 pounds per inch, meaning you can use it to hold up anything from a car to a building.

Do tapes expire?

The shelf life of a tape can vary based on the brand and the quality of the tape you purchase. But the answer is: YES, most tapes expire after 2 years.


To wrap it up, it is obvious that adhesive tape is an irreplaceable article in household use. 

It came to us from doctor Horace Day in 1845, and since then it has conquered the hearts of many people all over the world.

Of course, there’s plenty of other untold information about when was tape invented, so if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment in the Comments section and I’ll gladly respond. 

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