A Brief History
On May 29, 2023, Americans celebrate National Paperclip Day, possibly the single most useful implement ever devised. (Just ask MacGyver!)
Patented by Samuel B. Fay in 1867, his intention for the bent metal clip was to attach paper tags to clothing or other fabric, although his patent does mention attaching paper to paper. Many other inventors have patented variations on the bent wire paperclip theme.
Almost incredibly useful for other applications, paper clips make dandy ammo fired by rubber bands, tools for unclogging small openings, emergency zipper pulls, latches for broken watch bands and necklaces, electrical repairs, eyeglass repairs, all sorts of automotive applications, mini scrapers for cleaning tights places, decorations and craft pieces, emergency handcuff keys, and a seemingly endless variety of other uses. Can you add to this list?
Question for students (and subscribers): How will you celebrate National Paperclip Day? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see…
Brooks, Wesley. The Unofficial MacGyver Encyclopedia. CreateSpace, 2015.
Pepperll, Keith. A Shorter History of Paperclips: Gripping without Tearing, Storing without Tangling. Kindle, 2019.
The featured image in this article, a GEM Paper Clip advertisement, Jan 1893, by Cushman & Denison, is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1928.
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