History of the Paper Clip
Other Brand Names
|Fay Paper Clip
Amneco, C, Chicago, Cinch, Climax,
Clinch, Cyclone, Jiffy, New York,
Philadelphia, Queen City,
Simplex, Uneedit, West
|The patent awarded to Samuel B. Fay described this clip as a ticket fastener to be used, in lieu of a pin, to fasten tickets to fine fabrics. The patent noted that the clip could be used to attach a paper ticket to another piece of paper.|
|Wright Paper Clip
Advertised c. 1877
|The patent awarded to Erlman J. Wright stated that the clip was designed for "fastening together loose leaves of papers, documents, periodicals, newspapers," in lieu of sewing, "pointed bent-over paper fasteners," or eyelets. The clip was advertised as a newspaper clip.|
|Gem Paper Clip
In 1904, Cushman & Denison obtained a trademark for "Gem" used in connection with paper clips. The announcement of the trademark stated "Used since March 1, 1892," so it is possible that the Gem Paper Clip was introduced on that date.
August 1894 ad. All rights reserved.
The earliest known Gem paper clip advertisement, which was discovered by the Early Office Museum, is in the September 1893 issue of The American Lawyer. The seller was Cushman & Denison.
|Patent Spring Clasps
|Distributed by the Library Bureau|
Boston, MA, which claimed that these spring clasps "largely supersede pins, staples, paper fasteners, rubber bands, clips, and all devices for fastening papers or cards together."
Replace with patent image
|Utility Paper Clip
|Made from sheet metal, not bent wire, by|
O. W. Smith Manufacturing Co. Detroit, MI.
and subsequently Stationers' Mfg. Co. Detroit, MI.
Also distributed by Library Bureau
|Eureka Paper Clip
(The brand name Farmer comes from the name of the inventor, George P. Farmer)
Made from sheet metal, not bent wire, by Consolidated Safety Pin Co., Bloomfield, NJ
|Reeve Paper Clip
|Cole Paper Clip
|The patent indicates that a number of bent-wire paper clips were already in use when the application was filed in December 1896. "Previous to my invention various forms of bent-wire clips have been used. Some of them do not grip the articles with sufficient force, while others endanger a tearing. Others are difficult or inconvenient, and others still are clumsy or have some portion projecting transversely to the plane of the papers."|
|Bennett Paper Clip
To use this clip, one bent a portion of the wire over the papers.
|Niagara Paper Clip
|Niagara Clip Co., New York, NY|
Standard size clip is small. Larger version sold as Giant Niagara Clip.
Add image from 1904 System
|Perfection Paper Fastener
Made by M. P. & J. R. Schooley, Homestead, Pa.
|Columbia Paper Clip
|Columbia Manufacturing Co.|
Successor to the Scientific Clip Co.
|Clipper Paper Clip
Advertised 1900-11, 1921-23
|Clipper Mfg. Co., Long Island, NY|
In 1903, the Clipper paper clip was available in brass or steel.
|Daisy Paper Clip
|Like the Eureka paper clip, this design was invented by George P. Farmer, who assigned the patent to the Consolidated Safety Pin Co., Bloomfield, NJ..|
|Vaaler Paper Clip
Patented 1900 (Germany)
& 1901 (US)
|Image is one of several |
in the 1901 US patent.
Vaaler, who was Norwegian, is commonly but incorrectly given credit for invention of the paper clip. His designs were neither first nor important.
|Konaclip Paper Clip
|McGill Paper Clip
|Attleboro Stock Co., New York, NY (1903-04)|
American Clip Co., Long Island City, NY
"A pin, paper clip and paper fastener in one."
|Wright Paper Clip
|Patent Image coming||De Long Paper Clip
|Ideal Paper Clip
|Cushman & Denison Mfg. Co., |
New York, NY
ACCO Brands as of 2008
|Multiple Grip Paper Clip Style E
"An inexpensive clip that grips flat in four places.
Does not slide under papers"
|Patent Image coming||Mussinan Paper Clip
|Patent Image coming||Cox Paper Clip
|Banjo Paper Clip
|Cushman & Denison Mfg. Co..|
|Weis Paper Clip
Eureka, Star, Triangle
|Weis Binder Co. (1905)|
During 1904, the US Patent Office
issued three patents for paper clips
with essentially this same design.
|Common Sense Paper Clip
|Jackson Mfg. Co., Jackson, MI.|
Book-Keeper Publishing Co., Ltd., Detroit, MI (1905)
|Rinklip Paper Clip
A.A. Weeks Mfg. Co., New York, NY (Ring, 1905)
Cushman & Denison Mfg. Co (Ring).
The Rinklip advertised in 1905
had a flat top.
|Mogul Paper Clip
Advertised c.1906, 1908-10
|Clipper Mfg. Co.|
|Weis Herculean Reversible Paper Clip
Marketed 1905 ~ Advertised 1907-10
|Weis Binder Co., Toledo, OH (1905)|
Weis Mfg. Co.
Improved Niagara Paper Clip
|Owl Paper Clip
Regal, Peerless, Supreme
Owl Supply Co., Boston, MA
ACCO Brands, part no. ACC-72130, as of 2008.
|Hold-Fast Paper Clip
|Cutter-Tower Co., Boston, MA|
|Ringklip Paper Clip
Advertised in Europe 1910
|Dennison Paper Clip
Illustrated in Webster's New
International Dictionary 1934.
|Dennison Mfg. Co.|
|Standard Paper Clip
|Wing Paper Clip
Courtesy of Cornelia Moyer
Wing Paper Clip Co., Philadephia, PA
|Ezeon Paper Clip
Handi-Grip, Imperial, Rapid,
|Victory Paper Clip
|Improved Gem Paper Clip
Advertised c. 1920-1924
|Cushman & Denison Mfg. Co.|
|Collette Paper Clip
Variations include the Dandy, Gripit,
Marcel, Non-Skid, Rigid, & Frictioned
Patented: Collette1921, Dandy 1927, Gripit 1930
Including variations, advertised 1924-Present
|Collette Mfg. Co., Amsterdam, NY|
Available from ACCO Brands, SKU: UNV72240, as of 2008
Serrations are designed to hold papers securely.
|Perfected Gem Paper Clip
Perfect Gem, Perfect, Gothic, Spear,
Widely used on European continent
|Nifty Paper Clip
Kurly Klip, Spiral, Clipiola
(Similar design patented 1907)
Left: Kodye Kurly Klips. Right: Clipiola.
|Rapid Gem Paper Clip
Made in USA
|Proco paper clip
Courtesy of H A M Stumpel
Additional paper clips are listed by name but not illustrated in Who Makes It and Where: The Stationers' Book of Knowledge, 1918-19, Andrew Geyer, Inc., New York, copyright 1916. Also, "You are Cordially Invited to a Preview of the Emanuel Fritz Paper Clip Collection at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.," American Collector, July 1973, contains photographs of portions of several paper clips that are not included above. Because the complete clips are not visible, we are unable to match them to patent diagrams.
A Nifty Story About Paper Clips
Matt Boytim writes: "My buddy and I were students in the early 80's. We commuted to school and parked in a lot with meters. Being poor college students we were interested in feeding the meters with something other than money, and we had heard that you could use 'paper clips'. Of course, this made no sense to us until my buddy bought a box of Nifty Clips. We put a Nifty Clip in the dime slot of the meter, and a penny in the nickel slot, and wind the meter up to 4 hours. This worked because the nifty clip was slightly bigger in diameter than a dime and acted as a spring. It would compress to fit through the dime slot and once through would expand to engage the timer when you turned the knob. The penny was needed, I guess, because something solid had to be in one of the coin slots. We went to get more clips from an office supply store. When we paid, the guy said, 'So these things still work in the parking meters.' We did this for about two years, until they raised the price of parking and removed the dime and nickel slot. If you really care I can tell you what we did after that, but it had nothing to do with Nifty Clips."