Paperclip - History of Paperclip


From the dawn of civilization, paper records have been a method of keeping track of important and necessary documentation. A common experience throughout the world's record keeping has been the necessity to ensure that all documents are kept together, and none are lost.

Therefore, from the early 13th century people had created various methods to ensure documents were kept together. These included tying ribbons though the paper, and melting wax to secure the papers in place. For nearly 600 years, these were the methods used to secure papers

The next paper invention was that of the straight pin. A machine that could mass-produce straight pins was invented in 1835 by John Ireland Howe. Although straight pins were originally designed for sewing and tailoring, people began using them as a quick and easy way to secure papers.

Norwegian Johan Vaaler saw the straight pin being used in this way, and therefore came up with the idea of the first paperclip. In 1899 he patented the device, which consisted of a wire bent into a particularly shaped hoop for the purpose of securing papers. Although Johan's was the first patent, other similar devices may have been independently invented, but never patented.

During this time, however, the paperclip was not a widely distributed device. Therefore, the Gem Manufacturing Company of England developed a machine to manufacture and standardize the paper clip design. This manufacturing development allowed for the expansion of the modern paperclip throughout the world.

Today the paperclip is a famous invention used throughout offices, schoolrooms, and business throughout the world. Necessary for it's simple, but useful function of ensuring the safety of numerous paper documents, a single paperclip must be within the reach of any serious business professional. Because of its easiness to produce, simpleness to use, and usefulness within multiple contexts, the paperclip remains a staple office supply throughout the world.

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