Dating paper documents
Would you like to swap, sell, donate, or purchase early paper clips?If the Early Office Museum has an example of a particular paper clip, we put an "X" at the end of the text in the box in the right-hand column in the pertinent row of the table below. We would be happy to swap our duplicate early paper clips for ones we do not have.The information on this page is based on our review of patents, early trade publications, artifacts, and other primary sources.As a result, unlike much of the information on the history of the paper clip that is available on the internet, the information presented here is accurate. Berry for sharing his patent and trademark research on paper clips.And in a 1922 advertisement for the Gem paper clip, Cushman & Denison stated, "Thirty years ago we placed on the market the first 'Gem' Clip." Speculation that the Gem paper clip originated in Britain by the early 1880s is incorrect.This speculation is based at least in part on references to "Gem Paper Fasteners" in publications dating from 18; these publications did not contain either illustrations or verbal descriptions of these fasteners.However, the Early Office Museum has found an 1881 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. When did paper clips come into widespread use in offices?
We are also interested in photos/scans of paper clips, boxes, and advertisements (if possible dated) that we do not have to post on the Museum web site with a credit to you.
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.
This type of clip was also called a "letter clip." We consider these devices on our web page dealing with small filing devices. It therefore appears unlikely that paper clips with the Fay design had significant, if any, sales prior to 1896.
However, beginning in the late 1890s and for decades thereafter, the Fay design was widely advertised under many brand names for use in fastening papers. A second paper clip design was patented by Erlman J. This clip was advertised at that time for use in fastening newspapers.