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Taking Things For Granted: The Genius and History of the Stapler



There are many things we take for granted in modern society. We can travel hundreds of miles in just a few hours. We have a box to keep things cold or frozen and another to heat things up. We can have pretty much anything delivered to our door in two days or less. And when it comes to office supplies, we have entire stores dedicated to offering every modern working convenience imaginable.


The availability of pens, paper, copiers, printers, markers, tape, etc. is easy to overlook. After all, for most of us these things have always been there. And they always will be (at least until something better comes along.)


Even so, it can be fun to imagine what life would be like without these things and to learn a bit about how they came to exist in the first place.


Necessity Is The Mother Of Invention: The Stapler’s Humble Beginnings


As long as mankind has been writing down information, we have needed a way to collate and it. The earliest known writing was done by the Sumerians on clay tablets. While this may be more permanent than modern paper, it is decidedly let transportable and takes up far more room.


After the invention of papyrus and parchment, scrolls became the most popular method of organizing recorded information. Simply use one very long piece of parchment or papyrus, or stack the pieces you want to keep together and then roll them up.


This method was better than the clay tablets but still left much to be desired. Scrolls were often too long to be convenient, and they have an annoying habit of rolling up again when you are trying to read them.


The search for a better way to collect and organize information led through various stages such as pages being sewn together, glued together, or tied together with ribbon.


Enter The Modern Stapler


Humans are nothing if not inventive. Though prior methods got the job done, they weren’t as efficient and effective as might be desired. There is some lack of clarity as to who actually invented the first stapler, but here is what we do know:


● “In 1866, George McGill received U.S. patent 56,587 for a small, bendable brass paper fastener that was a precursor to the modern staple. In 1867, he received U.S. patent 67,665 for a press to insert the fastener into paper.”

● “In 1868 an English patent for a stapler was awarded to C. H. Gould, and in the U.S, Albert Kletzker of St. Louis, MO also patented a device.”

● “1877 Henry R. Heyl filed patent number 195,603 for the first machines to both insert and clinch a staple in one step, and for this reason some consider him the inventor of the modern stapler.”

● Various changes and improvements were made until in 1941, the stapler you would recognize as similar to the one sitting on your desk arrived.


Just Give Me A Stapler That Works, Please


If you’ve worked in any sort of office or school setting, you’ve probably experienced the annoyance of an inferior stapler. It jams frequently or the ends of the staple stick back up through the paper, for example.


The phrase, “You had one job!” comes to mind.


While we acknowledge that a faulty stapler can certainly be classified as a first-world problem, it is a problem nonetheless. The best kind of stapler is one that you never think twice about because it is aesthetic and does its job well. The stapler we offer at OfficeGoods fits the bill. Check it out today!

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