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Duct tape: Always a dad favorite

June 22, 2012

Photo by Mary Tucker Johnsonburg residents Jesse and Mallaki Tucker, from left to right, and an unknown artist, right, pose by duct-tape pieces including movie characters and musical artist Ringo Starr.

Just in time for Father’s Day, the ninth annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival was held last weekend in Avon, Ohio, known as the “Duct Tape Capital of the World.” At the event, duct-tape lovers could find just about any kind of duct-tape creation, including clothing, parade floats, and sculptures. This year’s theme, “Duck Tape on Safari,” celebrated the Duck Tape brand by hosting a scavenger hunt, an arts and crafts tent to create safari gear, a parade and a free animal show by a local animal expert.
Johnsonburg residents and brothers Mallaki and Jesse Tucker attended the festival with their parents, Mike and Mary. The brothers said they enjoyed the event, particularly Mallaki, a budding duct-tape entrepreneur who has created a number of backpacks and other items out of the sticky stuff.
Duct tape and dads seem to go together for some reason. Almost everyone remembers their dad using duct tape on something in the home or on the car -- most seem to have a roll stashed somewhere and barely need an excuse to find a use for it.
But is it duct tape or Duck tape? It’s actually both—the original name was “DUCK” and was coined through its original use in the U.S. military during World War II. According to DuckBrand.com, the tape was developed by Johnson and Johnson Permacel Division at the request of the U.S. military, which needed a waterproof tape to prevent moisture from seeping into ammunition cases. It received its name because it repelled water similar to a duck’s back, and military personnel were soon using it for everything from vehicle repairs to securing items to themselves.
The tough stuff developed its other name following the war, according to Jim and Tim, the Duck/Duct Tape Guys (www.octanecreative.com). As all of those troops began returning and reestablishing themselves in civilian life, the housing industry exploded. During that boom, an unnamed person discovered that the tape could be used to join duct work for heating and air conditioning. People then began using the name duct tape, and the color changed from army green to the ubiquitous silver found today.The color range doesn’t stop at gray, however—what the Duck/Duct Tape guys refer to as the “Ultimate Power Tool” now comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and some rolls even feature college logos.
DuckBrand’s website has a DuckTape Club whose motto is, “Fixing the world, one roll at a time.” The club allows people to share stories about their interesting uses of duct tape and the various creations they have made with it. And as seen at the Duct Tape Festival, men and women alike are making everything they can think of-- parade floats, clothing and statues, just to name a few.

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