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Evolution of Stapler

Charles Gould developed a prototype paper binder and played a key role in the evolution of stapler :-

  • The very first stapler
The very first stapler is thought to have belonged to King Louis XV of France (15 February 1710 – 10 May 1774).The large sized, handmade staples were imprinted with the royal insignia and were used to fasten together court documents.

Portrait of Louis XV of France (1710-1774) - Evolution of Stapler
Portrait of Louis XV of France (1710-1774) by Louis-Michel van Loo

Direct predecessor of the modern stapler :In the year 1868 Charles Gould received a British patent for a wire stitcher which could be easily used to bind magazines.Gould’s invention used an uncut wire that was then cut to length, the pointed ends of the wire are forced through the paper and the ends folded down.This stapler was a direct predecessor of the modern stapler.

In 1868, Albert Kletzker patented a type of paper clip that used a single large staple to fasten together papers but did not crimp the ends, which had to be done by hand.

Henry R.Heyl - Evolution of stapler
Henry R.Heyl

Henry R.Heyl  filed a patent titled “Improvement in Devices for Inserting Metallic Staples.” which was the first machine that both inserted the staple and crimped it in one motion.The earlier devices were large, chunky and impractical.

First commercially successful stapler: George W.McGill produced the first commercially successful stapler in the year 1879.The staples had to be loaded one at a time.This machine featured an anvil that bent the ends of the staple back on themselves as it was inserted.The fixed anvil can still be seen on modern staplers today.

McGill Stapler - Evolution of stapler
A photo of the McGill Single-Stroke Stapler. Patented on February 18, 1879.

In the early 1900s, several devices were developed that  punched and folded papers to attach them to each other without a metallic clip.The Clipless Stand Machine which was famous then cut a tongue in the paper that it folded back and tucked in.

Clipless stand machine - Evolution of stapler
Clipless stand machine

Improvements to the basic designs were made to enable multiple staples to be loaded at once in the form of strips.Finally in 1930’s companies manufactured strips of staples that were glued together in a “herringbone series,” alongside staplers that swung open, allowing easy loading.Staples have also found a use in surgery as a replacement for sutures.Surgical staples are preshaped into “M”.This is how stapler has evolved over years.

Also read : Evolution of pen – From Reed Pen to 3Doodler