Welcome to Wiser Now’s weekly email blast which reflects my eclectic interests and, I hope, yours. This week, my focus is on the fun, free, family-friendly festival featuring America’s favorite fix-all formed into fashions and floats. Sculptures, too, but it didn’t fit my alliteration. I am speaking, of course, of Avon, Ohio’s Duck Tape Festival. It was forced to cancel this year, but its inspiration is as fabulous as ever. I do love all the ways people find to manufacture fun.

I hope you are finding these offerings fun, and perhaps even useful, and I welcome your feedback. ( And if you haven’t yet pressed the subscribe button so this newsletter doesn’t go to spam, please do so now.


The Quirky Quote #1

One only needs two tools in life:
WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop. 
~ G. Weilacher

The Quirky Quote #2
A smile and a laugh are the duct tape of life;
they can fix anything.
~ Mike Wallace

The Quirky Facts

To be clear, Duck® Tape is a famous brand of duct tape, but duct tape really was originally called duck tape.

What we now know as duct tape was created by Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel division during WWII as a drab army green-colored waterproof tape for the military. It was given the name duck tape by soldiers perhaps because water rolled off it like it does off a duck’s back. Soldiers soon found it was useful for repairing almost anything that could be taped, and after the war, during the subsequent housing boom, it began to be used to connect heating and air conditioning ducts. Manufacturers changed the color to silver to match the ducts, and the name duct tape took over. Ultimately, it was found that it isn’t a safe means of connecting ducts after all, but it does have a lot of other uses. (The duct tape used for ducts these days is a variation of the original.)

While duct tape is now manufactured by multiple companies, the largest distributor is the Duck® brand, manufactured by Shurtape Technologies based in Hickory, North Carolina. Its factory in Avon, Ohio, on the appropriately named Just Imagine Boulevard is the primary sponsor of the famous festival.

The tape also now comes in many colors and patterns, especially useful for the attendees of the Duck Tape Festival which for 16 years was held on Father’s Day weekend to make it a more exciting celebration than the gift of socks.

The Quirky Observation

Worried Moms get things done. In 1943, Vesta Stoudt, who had two sons serving in the U.S. Navy, was working in an Illinois ordnance factory when she realized that the sealing for ammunition boxes was flawed. When she suggested a correction to her supervisors, it was rejected. She then hand wrote a heartfelt letter to President Roosevelt about protecting soldiers’ lives and explaining her fabric tape solution for ammunition boxes, which she had tested at her workplace. Amazingly, Roosevelt read the letter, liked her idea, forwarded her letter to the War Production Board, and an iconic product was born. You can read the details here.


The Quiz 

As the pictures accompanying this article just hint at – and our resources provide a sampling of –  there is almost nothing you can’t make with decorative duct tape.

Try to guess the answers to this quiz and note that those answers are more interesting than the questions. Be sure to look them up at the end of this document.

1. Duct tape is so versatile that nearly 100 books have been written about it.
          True ___      False ___

2. The TV program Mythbusters devoted multiple episodes to exploring some of duct tape’s most extreme applications. The only one that didn’t work was building a usable bridge.
          True ___      False ___

3. Among the proven uses for duct tape is removing splinters.
          True ___      False ___

4. Even astronauts use it. It had a role, in fact, in saving the astronauts on Apollo 13.
          True ___      False ___

5. You might win a college scholarship if you wear clothing made of Duck Tape to your high school prom.
          True ___      False ___

6. A banana duct-taped to a wall sold for $100,000 as a piece of art.
          True ___      False ___

Answers at the end of this document.


The Shameless Request

Please share Wiser Now Wednesday with anyone you think might be interested, and if you represent an organization that would like a customized version, please send me a note at

The Question
Have you made any unusual use of duct tape? Share it!

Featured Blog
I have long been drawn to quirky art and started a blog a few years ago called Improv Art. I haven’t kept it up but am aiming to get back to it. In the meantime, you might find what’s already there is fascinating.

The Kiosk of Resources

Answers to Quiz

1. Sort of false; the reality is that more than 1000 books have been written about duct tape. Do an Amazon search and explore them for yourself.

2. False. The team was able to successfully use duct tape to patch a damaged airplane fuselage, construct a functioning cannon, build a usable bridge, and lift a 5000-pound car. Of the 18 myths they tested, only one was busted. It turns out you can’t use duct tape to barricade a car driving at 60 mph.  (Source: Mental Floss. See above.)

3. True, but it may take a few tries. Tweezers are the better tool. On the other hand, several of the sources listed above have a LOT of other ideas for solving problems with duct tape.

4. True. According to NASA Warning Systems engineer Jerry Woodfill, a 52-year NASA veteran, duct tape had been stowed on board every mission since early in the Gemini days. Most famously, in 1970, an explosion on the Apollo 13 command module headed for the moon caused a problem with its carbon dioxide filters, thereby threatening the three astronauts’ lives. Ed Smylie, who designed the modification, said later that he knew the problem was solvable when it was confirmed that duct tape was on board: “I felt like we were home free.  One thing a Southern boy will never say is, ‘I don’t think duct tape will fix it.'” See more detail in the Mental Floss resource link above.

5. True. Every prom season, Duck Tape calls upon students to design and create their own suits and dresses using their Duck Tape. The winning couple of the "Stuck at Prom" competition is awarded a $10,000 scholarship each along with an additional $5000 for their high school. Pictured is one of the winners.

6. False. It sold for $120,000, twice. Find details here.
My multiple goals are to amuse and inspire you, to share what I and people whom I admire am doing, to stimulate your curiosity and spur you to action. I hope you enjoyed this offering. You can access previous issues here. We welcome your feedback. (
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Copyright (c) 2019 Kathy Laurenhue | All rights reserved.

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