How Kippon Was Born
The New York Times
Your Yarmulke is on to stay! Comfortably throughout the day!
adult or child,
straight or wild!
HOW KIPPON WAS BORN
On the High Holy Days, as well as on the Sabbath and at weddings and bar mitzvahs, yarmulke-wearing males share an ancient and universal problem: how to keep their skullcaps on their heads.
Bobby pins are used by everyday wearers of kippahs. This solution is not ideal, as bobby pins tend to get lost. A Brooklyn Rabbi, Sholom Ber Schapiro, in search of a sophisticated scientific solution to the skullcap-slippage problem, contacted an Israeli scientist, Herman Branover, at the Beer-Sheva University of Negev, whose field is magneto-hydrodynamics. Branover referred the rabbi to his friend from Russia, BNL Mechanical Engineer Lev Neymotin, Department of Nuclear Energy (DNE).
Rabbi Schapiro suggested the use of glues or magnets, but Neymotin immediately thought of a simpler, mechanical fastener: Velcro. After consulting with the manufacturer of Velcro and experimenting with various Velcro samples, "Kippon" was begotten last March. It is an ingenious product with a clever name, to keep your kippah on.
"Take the Kippon kit. Conceived by Lev Neymotin, a nuclear physicist from Long Island, it is intended to hold yarmulkes firmly in place with four strips of Velcro (TM) that grab hair but release gently. Mr. Neymotin, who is usually occupied with the safety of nuclear reactors at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, said in a telephone interview that the product's name was a play on "keep on" and "kippah," the Hebrew word for yarmulke..."
New York Times Sunday, November 9, 1986
"A Better Mousetrap?"
New York Times Sunday, July 12, 1987
"At Velcro Mill, the Ideas Keep Coming" ...and some work: the Velcro yarmulke holder, for example...
"The talk of Mea She'arim and Bnei Brak is an invention that solves a perennial problem of the Orthodox: how to keep one's skullcap on....The designer adapted the idea of Velcro tape, and developed a tab of Velcro nylon that holds onto the hair but releases it without pulling..."
The Jerusalem Post, Science/Health, October 8, 1986 _
"... The two final comments. There is no hair loss when a Kippon-fastened kippa is removed from the head. And unfortunately for bald pates, Kippon cannot adhere to a hairless head."
Does KIPPON Keep the Kippa On?, November 1986 _
"Thinking of the possibilities this invention allows for, one imagines yeshiva basketball players being able to dribble downcourt without using one hand to hold their kippot on their heads; mothers being able to send their little ones off to school without loading their curls with annoying clips; and young men being spared the embarrassment of going into drug stores to buy bobby pins.
All of which reminds one of the Mel Brooks 2,000 year old man routine in which he is asked the greatest invention of the 20th century and responds immediately, "Liquid Prell." What about the iron lung, he is asked. "That's good," replies Brooks, "but when you drop it, it breaks." Surely, now, Velcro can take its rightful place among the greatest discoveries of our time. Can't you just hear Mel Brooks asking, "when else could you run to shul on a windy day without worrying?"
At Last, A Way To Keep Kippot In Place, August 1986 _
"... And so, to Rabbi Schapiro, Prof. Branover and Dr. Neymotin, we give our thanks and do what seems to be the most appropriate. A doff of the old yarmulke."
JUF News, Flip Top: Keeping a lid on,1986 _
"In an effort to make the product more ecumenical, Mr. Neymotin offered kits to Pope John Paul II and to Cardinal O'Connor of New York, for help with any Catholic headgear problems..."
Moment, Spice Box, November 1987 _
It's a problem for every Jewish man. And for every Pope...
"I am writing at the direction of His Holiness Pope John Paul II to acknowledge the gift that you sent for his acceptance.
I have the honor to assure you of His Holiness's gratitude for your thoughtful gesture and his appreciation of the kind sentiments which prompted it."
Secretariat of State Vatican City, November 29, 1986 _
"Your gadget is the greatest - If His Eminence ever gets a toupee I trust that it won't come off when removing his "Catholic Yarmulke".
His Eminence is most appreciative of your thoughtfulness.
However, only a very few of the Catholic Clergy (the Bishops) use skull-caps and in this instance because of numbers, there would be no real value in trying to market your product in this area."
Letter from Cardinal O'Connor of New York, September 23, 1986
"It seems that I have exhausted the supply in my area inasmuch as I now I am able to wear different colored kippas to match my various outfits, and did not enjoy using a clip or bobby pin... I can personally attest to the efficiency of your product. It is a brilliant idea whose time has long been coming..."
Sherwyn K. Bloome, Illinois, January 2, 1987 _
Sherwyn K. Bloome
"I've been using your product for several years and am very satisfied and will be until I go bald! (G-d forbid)..."
Greg Tobkes, New York, April 4, 1994 _
"Your product Kippon recently came to my attention and I am thrilled with it!... When I do weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, these are really quite in demand!.."
Bernice R. Sakols, September 8, 1986 _
Bernice R. Sakols
"I picked up your new Kippon, and I think it's terrific..."
Alan Levy, New York, July 14, 1986 _
______How Kippon was born
______The New York Times
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