Friday, June 8, 2012
In Praise of the Paper Clip
The paper clip apparently was preceded by the straight pin, whose manufacture is described in Adam Smith's The wealth of Nations. The referenced article also contains this quote from Charles dickens about what could be found in a 19th-century office supply store: “Mr. Snagsby has dealt in all sorts of blank forms of legal process; in skins and rolls of parchment; in paper—foolscap, brief, draft, brown, white, whitey-brown, and blotting; in stamps; in office-quills, pens, ink, India-rubber, pounce, pins, pencils, sealing-wax, and wafers; in red tape and green ferret; in pocket-books, almanacs, diaries, and law lists; in string boxes, rulers, inkstands—glass and leaden—pen-knives, scissors, bodkins, and other small office-cutlery; in short, in articles too numerous to mention…” Should I admit that I prefer Staples? For thumbtacks which seem to have been invented around the same time, see here.