View Full Version : Thursday Trivia: Paper Clips

Star lover
January 24th, 2019, 08:17 AM
The common paper clip is a wonder of simplicity and function, so it seems puzzling that it wasn’t invented earlier. For centuries, straight pins, string and other materials were used as fasteners, but they punctured or damaged the papers. While the paper clip seems like such an obvious solution, its success had to wait for the invention of steel wire, which was "elastic" enough to be stretched, bent and twisted.

157277. Images of early paper clips.

The first patent for a bent wire paper clip was awarded in the United States to Samuel B. Fay in 1867. This clip was originally intended primarily for attaching tickets to fabric, although the patent recognized that it could be used to attach papers together.
Fay received U.S. patent 64,088 on April 23, 1867. Although functional and practical, Fay's design along with the 50 other designs patented prior to 1899 are not considered reminiscent of the modern paperclip design known today.

Another notable paper clip design was also patented in the United States by Erlman J. Wright in 1877. This clip was advertised at that time for use in fastening newspapers.


From left; the Fay clip, the Wright clip, the Niagara clip, the Common-Sense and Hold-Fast clips.

The paper clip, as we know it today, was patented by George McGill in 1903.

Video of the paper clip making process:


January 24th, 2019, 08:26 AM
Interesting! The process video is mesmerizing, lol

Rhonda K
January 24th, 2019, 10:17 AM
Love your posts!

Generally, I use the same type of paper clip in my daily work. They are the larger ones and thicker. Paper clips bent out of shape are tossed.

Love the alligator type and use those for hanging quilting rulers on the board. :icon_happy:

January 24th, 2019, 04:23 PM
Oooh! Too bad you probably can't find those originals. I would love to have those. Too cool.

Thanks, Anita

January 24th, 2019, 05:00 PM
Anita, you find the most INTERESTING information. Love this!

Patty J
January 24th, 2019, 05:59 PM
This amazing, I was using a clip the other day and said I wanted to know when they were invented and here is the information. Thanks for this interesting piece of trivia.