Like most modern day inventions, we have to give credit to the US military for Duct Tape. It is said that Army personnel in 1942 created it in order to keep water from leaking in ammunition cases. Before that, soldiers would use medical tape. While medical tape was great for adhering bandages to skin, it was not great for patching up things blasted by bombs.
Gli Acquedotti Romani: Come Sono Venuti a Essere, e Come Sono Stati Riparati (which was translated into English as The Roman Aqueducts: How They Came to be, and How They Were Repaired in 1985. His research shows that the Romans used some sort of epoxy made from mud, goat shit and sand.
In 1942 soldiers used what was then called Duck Tape to fix their guns, patch up planes and jeeps, and repair rips in their fatigues. It was called "Duck Tape" because soldiers would practice throwing the heavy rolls of tape instead of grenades. So as not to hit their buddy's on their heads they would yell, "Duck!"
The name stuck until the magical tape that could literally hold anything together began to make it's way out of the Army into construction sites. The color was changed from beautiful Army green to the lovely silver to match air ducts.
After the 1970s, the color began to change yet again as the manufacturers began introducing blue and red duct tape, in addition to silver. According to the world famous tapeologist Jose Galicia of West Palm Beach, Florida, women began to demand different colored tape so that they could repair their red and blue shoes and purses.
Just when it was thought the American population was growing tired of duct tape in the 80s, the hit show MacGyver came on and once again people saw the tape as the magical adhesive it is. As soon as the first episode aired, stocks soared and people were buying duct tape in packages of seven instead of just one roll at a time. No one wanted to run out of duct tape in case they, too, were caught in an underground mine with nothing but a pocket knife, a pen and some duct tape.
Duct tape is now more popular than ever. You can go to craft stores and buy pink camouflage and tie die duct tape. It comes in all colors now due to the popularity of making duct tape sculptures. Some designers are also making duct tape wedding gowns. Additionally, school children will have duct tape day and get to wear clothes made out of duct tape.
It is said that there is a MacGyver movie in the works, and the sky will be the limit as to what Mac could fix with the multitude of colors he will have to choose from. Not to mention the fact duct tape also comes in 5x7 sheets of fun hippie like colors.
Duct tape has come a long way since 1942, and despite the fact medicine cannot cure viruses, we can expect that there will continue to be innovations in duct tape and the world's fascination with the strongest tape on Earth will not diminish.
Editors note: Tapeologists study all brands and types of tapes, with the exception of eight track and cassette tapes. Adhesivologists study anything that can adhere to anything else. One would think it would include tape, but it doesn't due to the fact there was a severe rift between two groups of adhesivologists.