duck tape?

Michael McKernan mckernan at LOCALNET.COM
Sun Jul 23 23:30:23 UTC 1995

Perhaps gumming up this discussion with useless, extraneous tangles of memory,
my father, who served in the Signal Corp during WW II, and probably was
quite familiar with the Army's 'duck tape,' always insisted that this kind
of tape orginated in the theater industry, where his father had worked as a
stagehand or 'gaffer.'  My father therefore was convinced that it was
originally known as 'gaffer's tape.'

Gaffers tape is an actual product, still sold, usually as a premium item
(at about 3X the price of duck/t tape), and is still used in 'A/V, TV,
                                               theatrical and motion
picture industries; to
                                               hold wiring, lighting, stage
props and to
                                               "color code".  Use as a
premium waterproof
                                               packaging tape and masking
silk screen
                                               frames.  Sky divers use it
for securing
                                               camera and other equipment
to their
according to one online source:

 Permacel also makes 'gaffer tape aka gaffer's'

In my father's scenario, gaffers tape was the high quality original
product, produced to GI specs during the war, and also migrating into the
HVAC applications (duct tape), perhaps post war.

Someone else will have to do the dating on this, if there's any interest in it.

Michael McKernan

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