tesafilm® originally arose based on a failure to produce another item. When the pharmacist Dr. Oscar Troplowitz took over the lab of his colleague Paul Beiersdorf at the end of the 19th century, Troplowitz was working on an adhesive bandage that was supposed to both adhere firmly in place and be gentle to skin.
The result of his development was an adhesive that adhered excellently but irritated the skin and was therefore not suitable for wound care. Troplowitz made the most of his misfortune, dubbing the product “Citoplast” and launching it as the first technical adhesive tape available on the German market – for patching damaged bicycle tyres.
The tape was the precursor of Beiersdorf’s rubber adhesive based tape, which later became tesafilm®.
The name tesa®
The name tesa® traces back to the secretary Elsa Tesmer, who worked at Beiersdorf in Hamburg from April 1903 through the end of October 1908, first as an office clerk and then as the office manager. She thought up the term from the first two letters of her last name and the last two letters of her first name. For a long time, the only source indicating the origin of the name was a letter written by Tesmer to the company Beiersdorf in 1960. New details of her story came to light recently.