Richard Gurley Drew
Born June 22, 1899 – December 14, 1980
Patent #: 1,760,820
Richard Drew invented masking tape and transparent cellophane tape, the
first modern pressure sensitive tapes.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Drew attended the University of Minnesota before working as a lab technician for 3M, then a sandpaper manufacturer. While delivering trial batches to the local auto body shop for testing, he noticed painters having difficulty masking car parts because the paint often peeled off when the tape was removed. Drew devised a tape of cabinetmaker’s glue and treated crepe paper. Automakers found the tape ideal for masking off areas during auto body painting and immediately began to place orders. The tape was marketed as Scotch® masking tape in 1925.