It always amazes me when I come across a node that doesn't have info on something so common and familiar. People can watch it pass by in New Writeups and exclaim, "What?! Are you sure that hasn't been done yet?" I assure you it has not. Many thanks to Tem42 and the Content Rescue Team for providing these little gems. And without further adieu, I give you: tape!
Tape, existing as strips of material coated in an adhesive, has a long history of convenience. Who would have thought that musicians could come up with something so useful? (Before you get pissed off by that statement, know that I am a musician). The earliest reference to tape is found in Thomas Mace's "Musick's Monument" published in 1676. Lute makers used 'little pieces of Paper, so big as a pence or two pences, wet with Glew' to hold the thin strips of wood in place during the construction of the instrument. Fast forward to 1845 when a US patent is taken out under Shecut and Day marking the beginning of 'pressure sensitive' tape. (Are we moving fast enough, covering two centuries in two sentences?) A pressure sensitive tape is any adhesive tape that will stick to a wide variety of clean dry surfaces with a minimum of pressure applied. It does not need to be activated by water, solvent or heat. It wasn't until the 1920's when tape began its industrial service and its astounding utility was secured.
The tape can be any of a wide range of thin flexible materials. Common materials include films, paper tissues, cloth or even metal foils. The choice of material used depends on what the tape is intended to do.
As the name explicates, Rubber/Resin is a combination of hard resin and rubbery materials from both natural and synthetic sources. Natural materials are extracted from trees while the always useful oil industry provides the synthetics. However, unless specially treated, it does not hold up very well to heat, exposure, or light.
Fully dumping the idea of natural sources, acrylics are completely synthetic polymers. They are more expensive than Rubber/Resin adhesives but hold up much better against the elements.
3M would be the company to first make tape a viable commercial product and they continue to dominate the tape market even today. The honor would fall to one Richard Drew, only one year out of engineering training at the University of Minnesota. In response to needs in the auto-painting and insulation industries, Drew conceived of masking and cellophane (later called 'Magic') tape respectively. This took all of about 4 of his first years working at 3M, starting as a lab assistant and ending up as the resident pressure-adhesives expert. A few years later John Borden, product sales manager, designed an efficient dispenser with a serrated knife and a metal strip to create the product that we all know and love as Scotch tape today.