13 Nov 2014


Letter Z

I was very pleased when I finally found a word starting with a Z other then Zen ! A ZIP ! Immediately I wanted to know who had invented the zip. I noticed that it is not that easy at all to find its history !

I started by googling Zip and found :

- 7 zip An Open source Windows utility for manipulating archives. 
   (I don't want manipulating archives, I want to close my coat !)

- a WinZip: Which is a zip utility for file compression, encryption, sharing, and data backup.
  WinZip saves time and space, making it easy ... (to close my Jeans ????)

- A Zip manual, not to tell you what to do when your zip is stuck, but transparently read or
  write ZIP compressed archives and the files inside them.

The pictures instead, on the Google Zip page showed me zips with which you could really close a bag, skirts, trousers etc. Of course it's easier to show pictures of a traditional zip than of zip files or other zips, and I forgot to mention the Zip code.

I really was surprised. Even the all knowing Mrs. Wikipedia let me down and explained a Zip as a format file. And then I found out why ! I had to ask for Zipper and not for Zip ! Apparently a Zip is British and a Zipper American ! Again languages problems ! How should I know that ?

It all started when In 1851, a certain Elias Howe received a patent for an "Automatic, Continuous Clothing Closure". He did not try seriously to market it, missing recognition he might otherwise have received. Howe's device was more like an elaborate draw-string than a true slide fastener.

The most interesting part of our Zip or Zipper started n the 1930s, when a sales campaign began for children's clothing featuring zippers. The campaign praised zippers for promoting self-reliance in young children by making it possible for them to dress in self-help clothing.

The zipper beat the button in 1937 in the "Battle of the Fly", after French fashion designers raved over zippers in men's trousers. They declared the zipper the "Newest Tailoring Idea for Men" and among the zippered fly's many virtues was that it would exclude "The Possibility of Unintentional and Embarrassing Disarray." Which isn't quite true according to Mr. G, when the zip zipper gets stuck. On the other hand unbutton also takes time and could cause an "embarassing disarry" too. We women don't have this in some cases very urgent problem, except when it comes to trousers and the zip/zipper is on strike.

The most recent innovation in the zipper's design was the introduction of models that could open on both ends, as on jackets. Today the zipper is by far the most widespread fastener, and is found on clothing, luggage, leather goods, and various other objects.

And if you want to know more about a Zip/Zipper just read it here !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

HI Gattina - interesting to read about .. and the Zip - Zipper language differences - so often happens. Love the cartoons ...

Good Z .. cheers Hilary

Andrew said...

I love the sound of velcro ripping apart.

Andrew said...

Oh yes, I think we say zip here, rather than zipper.

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Interesting z post!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I didn't think of zipper and zip though I use the world zip everyday, telling my students to zip. Your zippers are very beautiful.

storybeader said...

that's the first time I've heard about the difference of zip and zipper. Being American, I've always used the longer version... Did you notice all those 20th century words that began with the letter Z? {:-D

Wandering Wren said...

Hi Gattina
Just think of all those things that have a zipper in them in everyday life, can you imagine a sleeping bag without a zipper, or my handbag without being able to zip it closed?!
Great Z for Alphabe Thursday!
Wren x