The usefulness of duct tape is well known. It is great for repairing and attaching many different things. (It should be noted, for concerned animal lovers, that duck tape is only a pun, intended or not, and no ducks are used in the manufacture, nor is it intended for use on live ducks One might, however, use it to cover quacks).

Once upon a time, when duct tape was used only on ducts, there was baling wire. The name comes from its original use, to secure hay that was compressed into bales by a machine on the farm. The wire was very flexible, easy to work with, and fairly cheap. Farmers soon discovered its usefulness in reattaching car, truck and tractor parts, and for securing and reinforcing all sorts of objects.
One who was especially adept in the use of this material became known as a baling wire mechanic.

Later hay baling machines used twine instead of wire, which was probably cheaper, but the wire retained its other uses. For some applications, it is still superior to duct tape, especially when high temperatures are involved or more strength is required.
There is an urban equivalent, available at any hardware store. It is made for tying steel concrete-reinforcing rods (re-bar) together. It is fairly cheap, yet extremely useful, both for making lasting repairs and for creating new projects and devices.

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