Gaffer tape inventor and founder of Lowel-Light, Ross Lowell, dies at 92

Feb 22, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

Gaffer tape inventor and founder of Lowel-Light, Ross Lowell, dies at 92

Feb 22, 2019

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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Ross Lowell, the award-winning director, cinematographer, author, and inventor, died 10 January 2019 at the age of 92. He was a founder of Lowel-Light and an inventor of gaffer tape. According to his wife Marilyn Shapiro-Lowell, he died at his home in Pound Ridge, New York.

Lowell was born on 10 July 1926. During his lifetime, he worked on hundreds of documentaries, short films, and TV commercials. In 1980, Lowell won an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his compact lighting system. The same year, his short film Oh Brother, My Brother was nominated in the Best Short Film category. In 1992, he wrote a book about lighting, Matters of Light and Depth.

As an inventor, Lowell changed the film industry with two inventions: quick-clamp lighting mount system, and gaffer tape. In the late 1950s, he was hired to create temporary and unobtrusive lighting system which would stay in place for a few weeks of filming. Lowell invented a swiveling ball-and-clamp system for mounting lights, and he reworked Johnson & Johnson’s Permacel duct tape by combining the Permacel adhesive with a silver fabric backing. And the gaffer tape was born. It could resist heat and stay in place for months without leaving a residue when removed.

Lowell had four children with his first wife Carol Ann. As a matter of fact, his award-winning film Oh Brother, My Brother depicts his two sons. Lowell later married Marilyn Shapiro and is survived by her, his four children and ten grandchildren.

[Update 26 February 2019: we have corrected the date of Lowell’s death to 10 January 2019. We apologize for the mistake.]

[via PDN, Wikipedia]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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5 responses to “Gaffer tape inventor and founder of Lowel-Light, Ross Lowell, dies at 92”

  1. purplepepperguy Avatar
    purplepepperguy

    Ross Lowell’s actual date of death was January 10th, 2019. PDN posted the incorrect date of death. I have also updated his wiki page to reflect his correct date of death.

    1. Arthur_P_Dent Avatar
      Arthur_P_Dent

      Using Wikipedia as a source is always a bad idea.

      1. purplepepperguy Avatar
        purplepepperguy

        The incorrect info all started from a PDN obit post with multiple errors including my father’s date of death and the name of his movie “Oh Brother, My Brother” which PDN lists as “Oh Brother, Oh Brother”. Then a Wiki page was created for my father and it used the PDN obit post as a reference for the Wiki page. When the person who created the Wiki page found out I was Ross’s daughter, they added incorrect info about my father’s wives and me which I requested to be corrected. This is a great example of how “Fake News” or as I call it Lies spread like wildfire on the internet.

  2. purplepepperguy Avatar
    purplepepperguy

    PDN has updated their obit with the correct date of January 10th 2019. Hopefully DIY will correct their error too.

    1. Dunja0712 Avatar
      Dunja0712

      We have corrected the date. It was the same in multiple sources, so I assumed it was correct.
      Thank you for letting us know, and I apologize for the mistake.