Scotch Magic Transparent Tape with Dispenser

Scotch Magic Transparent Tape with Dispenser

Usage conditions apply
Pressure sensitive tape was pioneered by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (later renamed 3M). In the early 1920s 3M engineer Richard Drew saw automotive painters struggling to mask out areas as they did two tone paint jobs. He told his bosses at 3M and was given permission to work on an adhesive tape that would hold well but release cleanly. The result was adhesive tape brought to market in 1925. Changing base film, Drew and 3M created cellulose tape in 1930, and later transparent tape. The iconic snail tape dispenser was introduced by 3M in the 1939, and has a serrated edge for easy dispensing.
The Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company was founded in 1902 as a mining operation, but soon began to use its minerals to make sandpaper. 3M is known for its culture of innovation which encourages employees of disparate background to work together. The company manufactures a wide variety of products focusing on films and coatings. Products range from masking tape and reflective sheeting to synthetic fabrics and sticky notes.
Object Name
dispenser, cellophane tape
date made
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
adhesive tape (overall material)
overall: 1 3/4 in x 3 in x 3/4 in; 4.445 cm x 7.62 cm x 1.905 cm
ID Number
maker number
5/0 95
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of 3M Company
See more items in
Work and Industry: Production and Manufacturing
Industry & Manufacturing
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object