125 years of innovation – tesa holds the world together

Holding on tight: There are billions of it in smartphones. Sleek electric cars wear it on their bodies – and penguins in their plumage. No newspaper printing gets "off the roll", no more wind drafts that whistle through houses. Technical adhesive tapes from tesa play an important role in many industries and in complex processes. And they are smart everyday helpers. Their story began 125 years ago, when the world's first technical adhesive tape came onto the market. Since then, innovations from tesa in industry, trade and households have made life (and bonding) easier – and in some cases they even revolutionized it. What used to be a simple bicycle patch yesterday is now high-tech – and always up to date. 


Our overview of '125 Years of Innovations' is directed forward – But we will also take a look over the shoulder, back into history. Because developments from Beiersdorf, the parent company of tesa, were often far ahead of their time: They set standards and were sometimes trendsetters. Dr. Oscar Troplowitz showed us how a great deal of pioneering and innovative spirit, perseverance, and courage can turn a failure into a bestseller: In the 1890s, the pharmacist actually wanted to market a new adhesive plaster, but it stuck too hard on human skin. Troplowitz quickly remodeled it and created the first technical adhesive tape, the "Cito-Sportheftpflaster" for bicycle patching. 

The larger distribution of different adhesive products took its course. In the 1930s, rubber wraps for car suspensions helped against poor road conditions. Today, highly specialized tesa adhesive pads protect the passengers in electric cars in the event of a battery fire. In the post-war period, tesamoll® pleasantly improved the sound of rattling radio sets. Today, wafer-thin high-tech tapes act as temperature regulators in smartphones. And in general, the elements such as fire, water, and air always offer new challenges – and more than 500 developers in the tesa laboratories across Europe, Asia and the USA deal with them day by day. Over time, more than 7,000 products have been created.

Curious? Over the coming weeks, in our series '125 Years of Innovations' we will show you what adhesive technology by tesa can do. Join us on a journey around the fascinating world of adhesives.

Frau benutzt Cito an ihrem Fahrrad

From flop to bestseller

The world's first technical adhesive tape comes from the Beiersdorf creative workshop – and was intended for defective two-wheelers. In the 1890s, the company actually wanted to market a new plaster, but it stuck too strongly to the skin and irritated it. The pharmacist Troplowitz quickly modified it and used it to create the first technical adhesive tape, the "Cito Sportheftpflaster" (sports adhesive plaster) with its new purpose to repair bicycles. An innovative sensation, because back then pneumatic tires often got punctured on the streets. This attitude continues to work at tesa today. In our series "125 Years of Innovations", we use selected examples to show you our innovation spirit and will present you with quite a few surprises!