The first patent for the paper clip was awarded to Samuel B. Fay of the United States in 1867. It was designed to fasten labels to garments and textiles, but was also marketed as a paper clip.
In 1877 Erlman J.Wright patented the first device explicitly designed as a paper clip, resembling present models.
The most common type of wire paper clip still in use was never patented, but it was probably in production in Britain as early as 1890 by “The Gem Manufacturing Company”. Paper clips are still sometimes called “Gem Clips”, and in Swedish the word for any paper clip is “gem”.
There are countless variations of paper clips but the original Gem type has for more than a hundred years proved to be the most practical and most popular.
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E&EO last updated 180621