Scotch tape defense against chemical and biological attack

Magic Tape: This year Tom Ridge sent millions of Americans scrambling to Home Depot when the Department of Homeland Security advised us all to cover our butts with duct tape and plastic sheeting. As a public service and in true Consumer Reports fashion, we’ve been researching some cost-saving measures for saving your life, and we discovered that the Scotch tape collecting lint in your kitchen junk drawer is also a great defense against chemical and biological attack, at about a tenth of the cost of duct tape.

Here is a 60-year-old 3M ad, offering comfort and security through the magic of Scotch tape:

Here’s the text copy of the ad, straight from a war of another era but cheerfully ready to lend a helping hand in our own war de jour:

If War Gas falls from the sky…


Months ago, foresighted Chemical Warfare Service and Quartermaster Corps engineers designed a protective covering to guard our soldiers against blister gas. It’s a tent-like cloak big enough to completely cover its wearer, pack, rifle and all. Made of special gas-proof cellophane, it stops the searing splash of deadly vapors which burn through ordinary clothing, shoes, and skin. Even its seams are gas-proof — they’re sealed with your old friend “Scotch” Tape.

Stopping penetration of destructive chemicals, man-made or natural, is one of “Scotch” Tape’s commonest war jobs. It is used as a gas-proof, water-proof seal on scores of vital supply cartons used by our armed forces.

Naturally war needs have first call on “Scotch” Tape for the duration. We hope that if you miss its convenient help around the house, you’ll remember it’s still working for you wherever it is. When these war jobs are done, “Scotch” Tape will be available again for home use…better and handier than ever before.

Just be sure not to let the searing splash of deadly vapors land on your exposed Prada loafers or Manolo Blahnik pumps when you’re out on the town — otherwise, have a great day.