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For purposes of the discussion and timeline presented here, a paper clip is a flat or nearly flat piece of metal that slides over an edge of a set of papers and holds the papers together without being bent or pinched by the user and without piercing the papers.
A large majority of different paper clip models were made by bending single pieces of resilient spring steel wire. Three others were stamped from sheet metal Eureka, Sheet Brass Gothic, Proco and another four Angell, Utility, Vise, Acme Correspondence were made by folding small pieces of resilient sheet steel.
One Nifty was made Cheap office paper bending a wire into a spiral and then flattening it. Recently some paper clips have been made of plastic, but these are not covered here. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the term "paper clip" was also used to refer to a spring loaded clip that was generally two or more inches long.
This type of clip was also called a "letter clip. When were paper clips introduced? The first paper clip was patented Cheap office paper Samuel B. This clip was originally intended primarily for attaching tickets to fabric, but the patent recognized that it could be used to attach papers together.
We have found no advertisement for, or other mention of, the Fay design until Inthe American Stationer announced that D. Also inthe Cinch Clip Co. It therefore appears unlikely that paper clips with the Fay design had significant, if any, sales prior to However, beginning in the late s and for decades thereafter, the Fay design was widely advertised under many brand names for use in fastening papers.
Inthe brand name "Fay" was used by the American Clip. A second paper clip design was patented by Erlman J. This clip was advertised at that time for use in fastening newspapers. A third paper clip was patented by Frank Angell in The Gem paper clip, which was never patented, but which became by far the best selling paper clip in the U.
This speculation is based at least in part on references to "Gem Paper Fasteners" in publications dating from and ; these publications did not contain either illustrations or verbal descriptions of these fasteners.
However, the Early Office Museum has found an publication with an illustration that shows that Tower's Gem Paper Fasteners were staples with legs that were bent toward each other after they were manually inserted through slits cut in papers.
They were not paper clips. Advertisement for Gem Paper Fasteners, Britain, When did paper clips come into widespread use in offices? A patent application filed at the end of indicated that a number of different paper clips were in use.
A flood of paper clip patents were issued beginning in A trade publication stated that "The wire clip for holding office papers together has entirely superseded the use of the pin in all up-to-date offices. Why weren't bent-wire paper clips marketed earlier?
According to Petroski, "Steel wire was still new in the second half of the nineteenth century The two earliest patents indicate that bent-wire paper clips could be used in lieu of pins, sewing, "pointed bent-over paper fasteners," and eyelets.
InClinch Clips were advertised as "Cheaper than Pins. By contrast, early paper clip advertisements do not refer to staples. Many designs were initially protected by patents. As a result, other manufacturers had to come up with different designs. Also, no single paper clip design is optimal for all purposes.
In marketing paper clips, suppliers emphasized the superiority of their designs on one or two of the following characteristics: Does not catch, mutilate, or tear papers 2. Does not get tangled with other clips in the box 3.7DayShop stock a wide range of own and top brand Inkjet Cartridges, Printer Paper, Laser Toner, Printers, Shredders, Laminators & Office Supplies.
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