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Got duct tape?

Posted by: under Improvement and repair Updated: March 8, 2010 - 8:22 AM

You might know it as "duct tape," but its original name was "duck tape," and it has maybe a million uses, including nautical. Eighteen rolls of duct tape went into making this boat.

The magic tape was developed during World War II when a waterproof tape was needed to keep the moisture out of ammunition cases. Because it was waterproof, everyone referred to it as "duck tape" (like water off a duck's back), according to authors Jim Berg and Tim Nyberg, authors of "The Duct Tape Book."

Military personnel found that the tape was good for lots more than keeping out water. They used it for Jeep repair, gun repair, strapping equipment to their clothing and more.

After the war, the booming housing industry found the tape to be a quick and easy way to join heating and air conditioning ductwork. The color was changed from army green to silver, and people started to refer to it as  "duct tape." We now know that duct tape fails miserably as a tape for connecting or sealing ducts. Don't use it for that!

Meanwhile, duct tape (or maybe it should revert to duck tape), comes in lots of colors, even clear, and it's found in most every home. 

I've used it repeatedly in the house, yard and on vehicles. Perhaps, the strangest suggestion I had for for its use came from a peace officer. When I asked what should be done if we catch one of the young kids who had been stealing bikes and rifling through cars in the neighborhood, I was told to hold them until police arrived.  When I asked how we might do that, I was told to, "duct tape them to a closeline pole."

What's your favorite or most inspired use of duct tape to solve a problem?

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