Though people have been stuck on duct tape for decades - using it for everything from short-term home repairs to creative fashion fixes - advances in the tape world are now getting repair gurus out of even stickier situations.
Originally green and called "Duck" tape, this kind of tape was first used by soldiers in World War II for repairs and to keep moisture out of their ammunition cases. After the war, it became known as "duct tape," when people began using it to connect heating and air conditioning ductwork.
Duct tape was credited with saving the lives of three NASA astronauts aboard Apollo 13, and more recently, the Department of Homeland Security recommended using duct tape with plastic to protect against bio-terrorism. A 2002 study showed that duct tape can even be used to treat unsightly warts.
While it's good for a quick fix, consumers find that duct tape needs to be replaced often, particularly on rough, porous or metallic surfaces. But one company recently improved upon this household staple by creating a tape with a double-thick adhesive that sticks to wood, stucco, plaster, brick and metal.
Gorilla Tape, developed by the company that makes the popular Gorilla Glue, also has a unique webbing that makes it stronger than traditional duct tape yet still easy to rip by hand, and an "all weather" shell that allows it to stand up to the toughest elements. Gorilla Tape has a multitude of uses, from sealing leaky hoses to repairing broken lawn furniture to patching holes in convertible tops.
"The fact is that normal duct tape doesn't work well unless the surface is perfectly clean and smooth - something we all know is rarely the case," said Doug Roach, director of product development for Gorilla Glue. "Gorilla Tape simply sticks to things that ordinary duct tape can't stick to."
While duct tape has long been a notable part of American history, recent developments make it certain that the tape will continue to be a part of everyone's toolboxes for years to come.