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Scotch tape
Posted: 14 October 2012 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Use of the term “Scotch” in the name has a pejorative origin. A customer complained that 3M was manufacturing its masking tape too cheaply, and told company engineer Richard Drew to, “take this tape back to your stingy Scotch bosses and tell them to put more adhesive on it."[2]

(Wikipedia)

Is this the origin of the name of the product?  It seems that Richard Drew was its inventor.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 05:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s the oft-told tale of the brand name’s origin. But there is no evidence for it. It’s firmly in the realm of folklore and may or may not have some truth to it. The OED has a citation from 1961, some twenty-five years after the name’s appearance, that tells the tale.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 10:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I seem to recall seeing ads in old magazines playing up the “thrifty” aspect of Scotch tape (it might have been their masking tape or it might have been cellophane), implying that it was less costly than competing brands.  Whether the name was chosen to imply that or the ads were simply associating the Scots’ stereotypical parsimony with a brand name bestowed for unrelated reasons I can’t say.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Last time we passed this way Dave found an early cite in the NY Times, 12 Jan 1940, p. 12: “He keeps matchsticks and Scotch tape in his desk to make splints for wounded birds.”

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Posted: 14 October 2012 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Wasn’t one of the “Scotch Tape” sales slogans, to the effect that it was a “mending tape”?

And thereby implying the thrift associated with the derogatory stereotype?

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Posted: 14 October 2012 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Originally it was used as masking tape for painting. That’s when the name arose. Any association with mending tape came after the brand was established.

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Posted: 14 October 2012 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’ve found a 1934 cite for “scotch tape” [note the lower case “s"] in Popular Science magazine, July 1934, p. 107:

...In contact printing, the negative may be secured over the opening with scotch tape....”

-from this probably broken link.

This may work better:

http://books.google.com/books?id=YSgDAAAAMBAJ&lpg=PA107&ots=Zosjr2EZJf&dq="Scotch%20tape"&pg=PA107#v=onepage&q="Scotch%20tape"&f=false

[ Edited: 14 October 2012 04:42 PM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 14 October 2012 04:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Ah… here’s a 1901 cite for “Scotch Tape Leice Reed”:

From the Official manual and reference book of the National Loom Fixers’ Association of America, 1901, page 140, in an advertisement:

books?id=eQSiAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA140&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U1hSH5PM8Ht8VcE5MAkZSvAACHlyg&ci=45,675,820,607&edge=0

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Posted: 14 October 2012 05:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I don’t think this is the same sense.  “Tape” here would be just a flat strip of cloth, i.e., ribbon.  I think “leice” is probably “lace”; a “reed” is part of a loom, and I believe “Scotch” is being used in the national sense (c.f. Irish lace), with the overall sense “loom reads for making lace ribbon in a Scottish style (or pattern)”.

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Posted: 15 October 2012 01:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Is leice a known variant for lace?

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Posted: 15 October 2012 01:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It’s the oft-told tale of the brand name’s origin. But there is no evidence for it.

Well, I guess that scotches those rumours.

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Posted: 15 October 2012 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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A reed is indeed part of a loom, resembles a comb, and serves to keep the threads separate. Wikipedia link.

“Scotch tape dressing” appears to be a term from the textile trade for a process of sizing thread (usually application of starch) before actual weaving, causing the fibers to lay flat, making a more cylindrical thread, and adding strength to the thread. The process uses a reed before the sizing is applied. Posselt’s Textile Journal, Vol 2, No. 3, March 1908, (link to .pdf) (see page 226)

I don’t think “Leice” and “lace” are related terms. I suspect that “Leice” has to do with a breed of “long wool” bearing sheep known as “English Leicester” (also, Leicester, Bakewell Leicester, Dishley Leicester, Improved Leicester, Leicester Longwool, and New Leicester). Wikipedia link.

It certainly is a totally different sense of “Scotch Tape” than the 3M brand “Scotch Tape” sense.

[Edit: Can’t get the link to Posselt’s to work, sorry]

[ Edited: 17 October 2012 07:14 AM by sobiest ]
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Posted: 15 October 2012 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Interesting.

Aldi’s post re Last time we passed this way (or, Eliza, Eliza, Eliza!) also supports what some of us believe: the oldies are the goodies.

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Posted: 15 October 2012 05:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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The only other thing I got on leice is that the irishenglishdictionary site says it is an Irish word meaning delicate.

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Posted: 15 October 2012 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Is leice a known variant for lace?

No, and I was probably wrong in that guess.  It’s not in the OED.  Googling (with other textile-related words to get the appropriate context and suppress misspellings of “Leica") turns up mostly variations of that same ad, and an article on “Spooling and Dressing Woolen Worsted Yarn” from Textile World Record v. 30 (1905-1906), in which the word is used without definition.  If I knew more about early 20th century textile manufacture, I might be able to get more sense out of these passages:

We are now ready to pick the pattern and tie in the spools.  After the yarn is brought as far as the leice reed each pattern should be looked over to see that every thread is in its proper place.
...
The clock is marked for the number of cuts to be put on the warp, a leice is taken and the dresser started.

There are two other uses of the term in the same article that I don’t have time to type out.  It seems to be a technical term, but it’s surprisingly rare by Googling.

Edit: Also found this from America’s Textile Reporter, 1907:

When the colors are tied, they are then run in separate reeds, namely the pattern reed, leice reed, and sley or nock reed.

FURTHER EDIT: I think it may be a variant spelling of lease reed.

[ Edited: 15 October 2012 07:37 AM by Dr. Techie ]
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Posted: 16 October 2012 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I’ve had difficulty finding “leice” as a word. I’d earlier thought it may have been a word in reference to a breed of “Leicester sheep” known for bearing “long wool”, but now feel, as Dr. Techie feels, that “it may be a variant spelling of lease reed”. I’ve often seen “lease reed” in text mentioning other types of reeds, but never “leice reed” with “lease reed”.

Here are a few easily found instances of “leice”; all instances I’ve seen so far (except for obvious misspellings or faulty scans of other words) deal with textile manufacturing:

[The images below are hyperlinks. In each instance, search for “leice"]

[Edit: the first two links are duplicates of the ones Dr. Techie posted, above]

-- Textile World Record, Volume 30, 1906, page 124 [1180]:

books?id=YHwhAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA1180&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2kPhamE7lEDGYfq3h_jmYIE4abMQ&ci=92,277,410,111&edge=0

.

books?id=YHwhAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA65&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U2P0ezIgt1QQz7THehUnul_sGUf_Q&ci=79,138,820,479&edge=0

And,—America’s Textile Reporter: For the Combined Textile Industries, Volume 21, March 21, 1907, page 23 [371]:

books?id=12hYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA371&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U3r0bYXceHICLf9sMLhYV3qtpwPRA&ci=257,720,231,109&edge=0

.

books?id=12hYAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA1&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U1x-0zkWGKNmFyMRZ1z_Et3IzTRPA&ci=22,17,942,492&edge=0

And,—The Textile Worker, Volume 3, Issues 1-12, 1914, page 25:
----------------------------------

books?id=QpoXAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA25&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U3c81NvAljWRDih9wXIaMGn6stLbg&ci=478,130,443,680&edge=0

.

books?id=QpoXAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA2-PA1&img=1&zoom=3&hl=en&sig=ACfU3U0Lz57KtcyRLbHvL06aFVkZiXgX3Q&ci=21,69,918,250&edge=0

[ Edited: 18 October 2012 08:42 AM by sobiest ]
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