A cloth-backed metallic gray adhesive that fixes anything worth saving. Oddly, it was not invented to seal ducts; Johnson and Johnson developed the tape during World War II to keep moisture out of ammunition cases.
Three historical highlights that demonstrate duct tape’s universal impact.
1940s: USC students begin wrapping the campus’s Tommy Trojan statue to prevent UCLA vandals from trashing it before the rivals’ football games.
1970: During a mission, the crew of Apollo 13 fashion two makeshift CO2 filters from duct tape to keep from asphyxiating. Two years later, Apollo 17 astronauts use it to repair the fender of a damaged lunar rover.
2003: A “duct-tape alert,” issued by the Department of Homeland Security, advises citizens to seal windows in the event of a chemical or biological attack.