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Remembering Adhesive Tape Pioneer John Johnston, the Father of ‘Duct Tape’

Posted on 6/23/2021 11:02:15 AM By ASC
  

John Johnstone, adhesive tape pioneer, researcher, educator, multiple patent holder, and developer of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes such as the legendary Duct Tape, has passed away at the age of 96, only two years after dimming eyesight led him to finally end a 70 year career that was driven by his focus on, and fascination with, adhesives.

Born, brought up, and educated, in the UK, where he achieved degrees in Physics, Chemistry, Pure Mathematics, and Applied Mathematics, as well as a diploma in Nuclear Energy at London University, Johnstone chose to move to America after being recruited by Dr William Scholl for the research team at Arno Tapes in Michigan City, Ind.

During the long career that followed, Johnstone researched and developed adhesive tape products, at one point developing a new product every month over a spell of 18 months; and wrote tape industry textbooks and papers such as “Pressure Sensitive Adhesives, a Guide to Their Function, Design, Manufacture and Use” which became highly respected as industry guides, leading to his being promoted to vice president of research and development.

He also made regular contributions to publications, national and international conferences, shared his knowledge with peers at a gathering which was to become the annual John Johnstone Adhesive Technology Session, and acted as a consultant on adhesive tape for countries like Peru, China, Mexico, Canada and Germany, which together resulted in his accumulating a large number of awards for achievements in pressure sensitive adhesives, forensic science.



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