In 1925, when Detroit was alive and well with a burgeoning auto industry, some car manufacturers were producing two-tone models.
Flashy, yes, but a nightmare to paint. So the car makers turned to the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company 3M for a sturdy tape they could run along a seam while painting to keep clean the border where the colors met.
The 3M people bought the idea, but because the cost of the adhesive was high, someone skimped, the tape went out with a strip of adhesive missing from the center line. Naturally, it didn’t stick and the paint dribbled into all the wrong places.
Irate auto workers attacked the 3M salesmen: “Take this tape back to those Scotch bosses of yours and tell them to put adhesive all over the tape.” The bosses made a better tape, but the name Scotch stuck.