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Inventors and Inventions
The 1950's
Zip It Shut With Velcro



Zip It Shut With Velcro
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 3 to 5
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    reality, weaver, tearing, entire, bond, surprising, easily, finding, working, microscope, design, pressed, lined, government, loose, lived
     content words:    De Mestral, Alfred Gonet, Velcro S. A.


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Zip It Shut With Velcro
By Jane Runyon
  

1     It all started with a leisurely walk. George de Mestral lived in Switzerland in 1948. He loved to walk in the foothills of the Alps. He and his dog would hike there almost every day. He sat down after his walk one day to pull burrs from his dog's fur and from his wool jacket. It was a tough job. The burrs didn't want to come loose easily. He had to pull and tug. He began to wonder how such a little thing could get such a good hold. He decided to examine the burrs under a microscope.
 
2     George de Mestral had a very curious mind. He had always been interested in inventing. He designed a plane when he was only twelve years old. He applied for and received a patent for his invention. A patent is a promise from the government that no one else can make or sell the inventor's design unless he says it is all right. Inventing something at the age of twelve that earned a patent was very special.
 
3     When de Mestral looked at the Burdock burrs on his coat under a microscope, he was very surprised. He saw that the stickers on the burrs each had a tiny little hook at the end. When these little hooks came in contact with the fur on the dog or the tiny woolen loops of thread on his jacket, they hooked and held. This started his mind working. Why couldn't he invent his own set of hooks and loops?

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