Tags: Inventions. History.
KEEPING IT ALL TOGETHER
On the odd occasion, I take the time to think about how certain inventions have helped (or in some cases, hindered) us as we go about our daily life, either at home or in the workplace and in one of these pensive moments, I began to consider the humble stapler and to find out exactly when someone came up with this helpful device.
Apparently, a guy by the name of George McGill was the first to come up with the staple itself and then a year later in 1867, he was granted a patent for a press which inserted the staple into paper. Whilst one could well and truly think that that clears up the question of who and even when, some regard Henry Heyl, the inventor in 1877 of a device that both inserted and clinched the staple, as the true inventor of the modern staple.
Having continued to work on refinements to his original device, George McGill patented the McGill Single-Stroke Staple Press in February 1879 and this was basically the first commercially successful stapler. The device weighed in excess of one kilogram and loaded a single 500 mm wide wire staple which it could drive through multiple sheets of paper. Although I have used the word “stapler” throughout this description of the above events, this word itself was not actually used in this sense until 1901 when it was used in an advertisement describing a machine which could be used to fasten sheets of paper with a thin metal wire.
From that time onward, there have been many advances in stapler designs and this includes the most commonly used version today which is the Flat Clinch version, the electric stapler, the automatic stapler which is incorporated into some copying and collating machines and even the compressed air driven staple gun which is an essential item found on construction sites.
The use of staples has also been adopted very successfully by the medical profession and is the preferred method to be used in some types of major surgery. I wonder what Mr McGill and Mr Heyl would have to say if they could see just how their humble inventions have been adapted for use in so many ways that help us keep it all together.