This year Scotch brand from 3M celebrates 75 years since first releasing its No. 33 Electrical Tape back in 1946, becoming the first tape sold by 3M under the Scotch brand. Previously 3M had invented masking tape in the 1920’s to simplify the process of painting two tone cars, as well as creating clear tape in the 1930’s and over 100 new tapes to help the allies during World War Two.
By the end of the war the need for a vinyl electrical tape had become apparent and 3M inventors Snell, Oace, and Eastwold worked to create a tape that would save electricians from the weak, corrosive and rot-prone tape that was used at the time, which was made of tar-coated cotton with a vulcanised rubber adhesive.
Sold in white or yellow only, the new Scotch electrical tape from 3M quickly became the new standard for insulating electrical connections, and set up Scotch brand to become the recognised brand for all 3M tapes during the years to follow.
By the 1960’s, Scotch Brand No. 33 had become a household name, with advertisements appearing in mainstream magazines and TV channels, helping the product and brand to continue growing as the undisputed market leader.
In 1966 3M introduced the new and improved ‘Super 33’, which was the first black coloured electrical tape to be released, adding UV resistance and a new operating temperature rating of up to 80 °C. By the end of the decade the tape took another leap forward with ’33 PLUS’, which increased the temperature rating further to 105 °C.
3M made more improvements throughout the 1970’s and 80’s as the range branched out, releasing Scotch 130C in 1975, a linerless rubber splicing tape designed for use with high voltage equipment, and ‘Super 33+’ in 1985, which offered even greater elasticity.
Today 3M continues to innovate and improve Scotch tapes to meet new demands and provide electrical workers with reliable tapes that are specially designed for the task at hand.
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