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Device for binding the edges of an opening, as on a garment or a bag. A zipper consists of two strips of material with metal or plastic teeth along the edges, and a sliding piece that interlocks the teeth when moved in one direction and separates them again when moved in the opposite direction. The idea of a slide fastener was first exhibited by Whitcomb L. Judson (died 1909) at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The modern form of the zipper began to appear on clothing in the late 1920s.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on zipper, visit Britannica.com.