Started out for CarsThe young 3M technician noticed that car painters were having difficulty applying separate colors while painting two-toned cars. As a solution, he treated crepe paper with pressure-sensitive adhesive and used the resulting product to cover vehicle sections that require a color different from the paint that was being used at the moment. This proved to be the birth of masking tape.The Difference is ClearRichard Drew then began experimenting with a transparent material called cellophane to try and duplicate his earlier success with masking tape. By 1930, 3M was marketing Richardâ¤™s invention as Scotch Tape. This was at the height of the Great Depression, and the simple invention became an unlikely symbol of hope for the impoverished because of its reliability and versatility.