The first version of paper clip was patented by Samuel Fay in 1867. Named the ‘Ticket Fastener’, his product was originally meant to attach tickets to fine fabrics without creating the damaging holes as the commonly used pins. He also mentioned in his patent application that it could also be used to hold papers together.
Ten years later, Erlman J, Wright patented his ‘Wright Paper Clip’ meant specifically to fasten loose papers and documents.
The first patent for a product specifically called paper clip was granted to Pennsylvanian, Mathew Schooley, in 1898. However, Schooley’s paperwork mentions other clips of slightly different design that were already in the market.
The most successful paper clip design and the one that has become virtually synonymous with ‘paper clip’ was never patented.
In 1899, John Vaaler received a patent for several possible paper clip shapes including one similar to the Gem. His patent application was for a clip made from ‘a spring material, such as a piece wire, that is bent to rectangular, triangular or otherwise shaped hoop, the end of which wore piece form members or tongues lying side by side in contrary directions.
One of the challenges to the Gem was patented in 1934 and has become to be known as the Gothic clip.
Invention of paper clip
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