Crocs

I assure you, these crocs do not bite.

  • Crocs are a type of shoe that have become popular in contemporary casual footwear, and they were invented in the county of Boulder, in Colorado in the United States.
  • Crocs have a shape similar to a clog, and they have holes at the top and the side that allow for airflow; movement of foreign objects or water out of the shoes; and decoration of the shoes.
  • Crocs are made of a special type of foam resin known as ‘Croslite’ or ‘Levirex’, which is an ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) material, and it is soft and light-weight, generally making them comfortable to wear.
  • Lyndon Hanson, Scott Seamans, and George Boedecker invented Crocs and co-founded the company, and the idea is said to have come about on a sailing excursion.
  • The design of Crocs was intended as a lightweight, waterproof shoe with good grip for boaters, and as such were first distributed in 2002 at a boat show.

Crocs, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Footwear, Fashion, Invention, Assortment, Clogs

  • Crocs were patented in 2006, by the company of the same name, which has since manufactured a variety of lightweight shoes.
  • The colours used for Crocs are often bright, and they now come in a wide variety of colours and styles, while some versions feature no holes.
  • Crocs have been particularly popular in casual fashion, however, they are often labelled as an ‘ugly’ shoe, and they commonly used for outdoor activities like gardening or walking on the beach.
  • As of 2016, at least 100 million pairs of Crocs had been sold, though many cheap imitations of the shoes have also been purchased since they were first released for sale.
  • Crocs are able to be decorated and customised with charms made by Jibbitz, a company now owned by the shoe company, by placing the charms in the holes situated on the top of the shoe.
Bibliography:
About Crocs, 2016, Crocs, Inc, http://www.crocsaustralia.com.au/about_crocs/about-crocs,en_AU,pg.html
Bhasin K & Townsend M, A Chip Off the Old Croc: The Ugly Shoe Is Back, 2015, Bloomberg, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-01/a-chip-off-the-old-croc-the-ugly-shoe-is-back
Croc is 10!, 2012, Crocs, Inc, http://company.crocs.com/tag/crocs-history/
Crocs, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocs
E-shots Web-exclusive: Patent check: What’s in a Croc?, 2007, Plastics Today, http://www.plasticstoday.com/e-shots-web-exclusive-patent-check-what%E2%80%99s-croc/8109936223408

 

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Slap Bracelet

Slap bracelets were once a popular teen fashion statement.

  • A slap bracelet is a somewhat flat strip, that when slapped on a cylindrical object, curls and wraps around the object.
  • ‘Slap bracelets’ are also known as ‘slap bands’ and ‘slap wraps’, the latter being the original brand name for the invention.
  • Slap bracelets were invented in the United States, in 1983 by the American Stuart Anders, a high school teacher at the time, after fiddling with a metal strip.
  • Slap bracelets are made of bistable spring steel (usually stainless), that allows for both curling and straightening out, and the steel used is very similar to that of metal tape measures.
  • In 1990, Main Street Toys marketed and first released slap bracelets for sale, and they sold at least one million in the first few months, with millions more in the following months.

Slap Bracelet, Modern, Fusion, Colour, Plastic, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Fashion, Band, Invention, Assortment

  • Due to there affordability and fascinating ability, slap bracelets became a huge hit among children and teenagers in the United States in the 1990s, where they were commonly worn around the wrist and ankles, and while it was a relatively short-lived fad, the invention has been used in various forms over the last couple of decades.
  • Original Slap Wrap slap bracelets were 23 cm (9 inches) in length and approximately 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide, and made of steel that was 0.15 mm (0.006 inch) thick; though cheap imitation versions used thinner steel, which was more likely to break or cut the wearer, the dangers of which first came to light in 1990, soon after they were released.
  • Slap bracelets are generally covered with a fabric or plastic cover, to both decorate the band and cover the potentially sharp edges of the internal steel, and this allows for an unlimited colour and pattern range.
  • Slap bracelets were banned in many schools due to the distraction they were in the classroom, while some children were slapping bands on other’s wrists, which could cause pain to the receiving person.
  • Slap bracelets have been used to secure trousers around one’s legs while riding a bicycle, while reflective variants have been used by cyclists and pedestrians at night time, for personal safety purposes.
Bibliography:
Ramirez A, Turning Profits Hand Over Wrist, 1990, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1990/10/27/business/turning-profits-hand-over-wrist.html?pagewanted=all
Reinhard K, Snap! A Slap On The Wrist for Use of Popular Bracelets in School, 1990, The Morning Call, http://articles.mcall.com/1990-11-01/features/2773232_1_slap-bracelets-wraps
Slap Bracelet, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slap_bracelet
Telfer T, The Dark History of Slap Bracelets, 2014, Bustle, http://www.bustle.com/articles/30305-whatever-happened-to-slap-bracelets-the-dark-history-of-a-banned-dirty-and-high-tech-accessory
What is a Slap Bracelet?, 2016, WiseGEEK, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-slap-bracelet.htm#

 

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Tassel

Where are the tassels found in your house?

  • A tassel is an invention, typically attached to textile items for ornamental purposes, and they were originally knots used to stop threads from coming undone, especially on the ends of woven fabric.
  • Tassels usually consist of a head, at the top of which is commonly an attached cord, and a ‘skirt’ that sits below the head, which is usually made up of numerous dangling threads.
  • Since ancient times, various forms of tassels have been used, particularly found on garments or as part of personal adornments; and the word is an Old French word that refers to a clasp used with clothing.
  • Tassels are most often created from threads of various kinds, or cord, and silk fibres have been commonly used throughout history, while synthetic fibres have become popular in modern times; and they may be ornately decorated, sometimes with beads or other embellishments
  • The head of a tassel may contain a wooden form under the fibres, that helps to determine and/or keep the shape of the head.

Tassel, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Invention, Fashion, Gold, White, Vary, Assortment

  • The craft of making tassels was extensively expanded upon by the French, during the 1500s, particularly by those known as ‘passementiers’, that made fancy textile trimmings; while some of the largest tassels originated in the Victorian era, while smaller tassels were more common in the Renaissance period.
  • Highly skilled crafts people of modern times, that create ornate tassels by hand, may charge large sums of money for a single item, though cheap tassels are more common.
  • Tassels are traditionally found on square academic caps known as ‘mortarboards’, that university graduates typically wear at their graduation ceremony.
  • Tassels are most often found decorating clothes, carpets, cushions, blankets and curtains, but also other objects, including bookmarks.
  • People, especially of the Middle East would historically wear tassels on head coverings or elsewhere, in attempt to keep evil spirits away, or to bring good luck.
Bibliography:
Churchill A, A Decorative Past: How Tassels Changed History, 2014, Martha Stewart, http://www.marthastewart.com/1082099/decorative-past-how-tassels-changed-history
The History of Tassels, 2016, Design Threads, http://www.estout.com/designthreads/archive/History-08_13-History_of_Tassels.asp
The History of Tassels, 2015, Tassel Depot, http://www.tasseldepot.com/tasselhistory.html
Tassel, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tassel
Wolfson-Foster M, A Brief History of Tassels, 2009, JPG Magazine, https://jpgmag.com/stories/13023

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Button

Is everyone buttoned up?

  • Buttons are small inventions typically used on textile items to fasten two pieces of fabric to each other, though they may purely be used for decorative purposes.
  • Buttons are most frequently used on clothing, although they are often used on bags, cushion covers and other fabric items.
  • The oldest known button relic was found in modern day Pakistan, in Asia, and is believed to have belonged to the ancient Asian civilisation of the Indus Valley, dating back to almost 3000 BC.
  • Buttons were used for the purpose of decoration, or fastening fabric that was used for clothing, in Ancient China, Ancient Rome, and also Ancient Greece.
  • Buttons come in all shapes and sizes, traditionally circular, but also square, triangular, and other shapes, and they usually have two or four holes in the top, or a shank that is moulded or attached to the base.

Button, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Invention, Assorted, Collection, Fashion

  • Seashells, bones, horn, metal and wood were used to craft buttons in ancient times, however in modern times, they are generally made from plastic, though shell, wood and metal are sometimes used.
  • The first predominant modern use of buttons originates in Europe around the 13th century, possibly in France or Germany, and they quickly became popular, as did the newly invented buttonhole.
  • Buttons are typically secured to an object with thread, either through the holes on the top or in the shank hidden underneath the invention, although some are riveted.
  • A measurement system, known as ‘lignes’, is often used to determine the size of buttons, where 40 lignes are equivalent to one inch (2.54 centimetres).
  • Buttons are available in a wide variety of patterns and colours, and traditionally, some artists have used them as a platform for their art, generally decorating the top face.
Bibliography:
A Brief History of Buttons – Sewing Button Origins, 2010, Sewing Mantra, http://www.sewingmantra.com/index.php/sewing/sewing-button-history/
Button, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button
The History of the Button, 2007, h2g2, http://h2g2.com/approved_entry/A23623616
Stewart J, The Simple, Humble, Surprisingly Sexy Button, 2012, Slate, http://www.slate.com/articles/life/design/2012/06/button_history_a_visual_tour_of_button_design_through_the_ages_.html

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Zipper

You can’t get more zippy than a zipper.

  • Zippers are an invention used to secure and close the edges of two pieces of material, commonly textiles.
  • A ‘zipper’ is also known as a ‘zip fastener’, ‘zip’ and ‘fly’, and it was once called a ‘clasp locker’.
  • Popularly zippers are utilised on clothing such as trousers, jackets or dresses, along with fabric camping items and baggage.
  • Zippers consist of two strips of teeth that link together or separate, when a central slider is moved across the strips.
  • Both plastic and metal materials can be used to produce a zipper, and the zip is typically attached to a fabric tape which allows it to be sewn or adhered to an item.
Zipper, Invention, Trivia, Ten Random Facts, Information, Metal, Slider, Teeth, Fashion
Zipper
Image courtesy of Clare Bell/Flickr
  •  The term ‘zipper’ is said to be derived from the ‘zip’ sound the invention makes when zipping, first used in 1923 by the American B. F. Goodrich Company, an aerospace company.
  • Zippers are notorious for breaking easily after significant use, such as when the slider fails to zip; it jams while zipping; or it detaches from a strip of teeth entirely.
  • An early zipper was first patented in 1851 by American Elias Howe Jr, a major innovator of the sewing machine; however the invention, known as a ‘fastening for garments’ was not commercially successful.
  • Some zippers are visible, however others are hidden from view under special textile flaps, and these zips are particularly useful for dresses or camouflage clothing.
  • The first patented zipper with a slider, filed in 1891, was designed by American Whitcomb Judson and it was called a ‘clasp locker’, and originally invented for use on shoes.
Bibliography:
Invention, n.d, The Zipper, http://thezipper.umwblogs.org/invention/
Zipper, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zipper

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Wedding Ring

A wedding ring is virtually part of many a person’s identity.

  • A wedding ring is a jewellery item, generally given and worn as a symbol of a person’s marriage.
  • Wedding rings are most frequently made of a metal such as platinum, gold or palladium, and are sometimes decorated with jewels or precious stones, and/or engraved with words or patterns.
  • ‘Wedding rings’ are also known as ‘wedding bands’, and they are typically exchanged during a marriage ceremony.
  • Wedding rings are thought to have originated in Ancient Egypt, made of reeds or other plant material, but later leather, ivory or bones became more common due to their durability, and in Roman times, iron became a popular choice.
  • It is traditional for a wedding ring to be placed on the fourth, or ring finger, more commonly on the left hand, and some people rarely remove their ring, wearing it both night and day.

Wedding Ring, Trivia, Invention, Jewelry, Assortment, Band

  • In a number of countries, wedding rings were originally exclusively given to the female of a wedded pair, and this is still the case in some places; though, in the United States, by the end of the 1940s, rings given to both genders became the norm, particularly due to the ongoing public promotion by jewellers.
  • Historically, the value of a wedding ring often symbolised the extent of love the giver had for the receiver, and commonly the cost of the ring was associated with the means of the giver.
  • Wedding rings, or more specifically circles, were a symbol of eternity in Ancient Egypt, describing eternal love between the partners, however on its adaption into Roman culture, the ring’s meaning grew into a symbol of a man’s possession over a woman.
  • According to popular legend, the fourth finger is believed to contain the mythical ‘love vein’ (Vena amoris), hence the wedding ring’s traditional position on the left hand; however, the position possibly originated from the Christian practice of a priest touching the first three fingers with the ring to symbolise the holy trinity, and then placing the ring on the fourth finger; or it may simply be that the ring was traditionally placed on one of the least used fingers on the least dominant hand to avoid wear of the material.
  • Some cultures consider the wedding ring to be the final gift in a series of wedding gifts, and it may be the second ring given, the first being an ‘engagement ring’, however, for some people, it may be the only ring given.
Bibliography:
Fox C, History of the Wedding Ring, 2010, America’s Collectible Network, http://www.jtv.com/library/wedding-ring-history.html
The Origins of Wedding Rings and Why They’re Worn on the 4th Finger of the Left Hand, 2010, Today I Found Out, http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/09/the-origin-of-wedding-rings-and-why-theyre-worn-on-the-4th-finger-of-the-left-hand/
Wedding Ring, 2016, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedding_ring

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