The duct tape of the office. Scotch tape is clear and very sticky. It's used to put notes up on the wall, mend torn sheets of paper, and so on. Outside the office, it is used to wrap gifts, too. It's not as strong as duct tape, but is a lot less visible and therefore useful when PHB's insist that it look good.

Scotch tape was invented in 1925 by Dick Drew of 3M. It is a tape composed of clear cellophane with one side coated in a weak adhesive. The product was conceived to solve a problem of early spray painting; it was difficult to create distinct borders between two colored areas. At the time, this was acheived by affixing old newspaper to a surface which was to be covered. The new cellophane tape was used to mask areas that were to be spray painted. Generic brands are known as cellophane, or sticky tape. A similar low adhesive, though opaque tape for similar purposes is known as masking tape.

The initial versions of the tape were not sticky enough, and were prone to fall off. An auto spray painter believed the manufacturers were too stingy with the glue and told Drew to "Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put more adhesive on it!" The nickname stuck, and the tape became known as Scotch(tm) brand cellophane tape. The mini tape roll dispensers sold by 3M even have a tartan pattern on them.

Scotch tape will not stick well to many surfaces, including wood and anything remotely greasy.

Scotch tape comes in a few different varieties:

  • You can find both wide and slim rolls for different types of taping needs.
  • Double sided tape comes in handy for presentation posters for school projects and for sticking stuff up on walls.
  • The "crystal clear" variety is clear and smooth as glass but shiny; this causes undesirable glare when used on documents and cannot be written on.
  • The rougher "normal" kind allows writing with any type of writing implement but must be smoothed out with a fingernail to allow one to see through it. It is matte and slightly translucent.
  • I think I have also seen Scotch tape come in colored varieties, both transparent and opaque.

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