When was elastic invented?


Quick Answer

Elastic was invented in 1820 by English inventor Thomas Hancock. Hancock's original patent was for elastic fastening for suspenders, gloves, shoes and stockings. Hancock is credited with founding the British rubber industry and inventing the masticator, a machine capable of shredding rubber scraps.

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Full Answer

Thomas Hancock originally designed the masticator after noticing that large quantities of rubber were destroyed in the elastic creation process. Hancock did not initially patent the masticator, waiting until 1837 to do so. In 1821, Hancock teamed up with Charles Macintosh, a Scottish inventor. Together the pair produced Macintosh coats using masticated rubber that Hancock invented. The masticated rubber was used until 1839 when vulcanized rubber was invented.

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