National Paperclip Day

The paperclip is an invention that has been around for over 150 years, and more than 11 billion of them are sold in the United States every year. Unfortunately, although it’s ubiquitous in offices around the world, few people give them much thought until they need to use one. They just throw them into a paperclip holder on their desk or toss them into a drawer. However, there is a holiday that is working to bring paperclips back to the forefront of people’s minds, and that holiday is National Paperclip Day. This holiday falls on May 29th every year and reminds us all of the importance of these little pieces of bent wire that are used to hold pieces of paper together.

A Brief History of the Paperclip

Finding out the history of the paperclip isn’t all that easy to do. That’s because the paperclip appears to have been invented in several different places around the same time. However, the first patent for a bent wire paperclip was issued in the U.S. to Samuel B. Fay in 1867. The original patent stated that the purpose of this bent wire clip was to attach tickets to fabric, but it also speculated that it could be used to hold papers together. On April 23, 1867, the U.S. Patent Office issued him patent #64,088. It should be stated that his paperclip doesn’t look like modern paperclips.

The paperclips that resemble modern ones were invented in the 1870s by the Gem Manufacturing Company and were in production in Britain. This paperclip was never patented, though, and a picture of it doesn’t appear in printed advertising until 1893. The name “Gem Paper Clips” would be registered as a trademark in 1904 to Cushman & Denison. Of course, as we said earlier, many different people all over the world have claimed to be the first person to invent the paperclip, so we may never know who actually invented it.

Facts About Paperclips

Okay, now we’ve come to the part of this holiday article where we give our readers a few random facts about paperclips. Looking at a simple basic office paperclip, you wouldn’t think that there would be anything to talk about, but we were able to find out some pretty interesting facts about it. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

  • The modern paperclip has never been patented, but they’ve been in production for over 150 years.
  • Some people believe that the first paperclip was invented in Norway.
  • In Oslo, Norway, there’s a giant paperclip outside of an office building.
  • During WWII, the paperclip was a symbol of resistance in Norway.
  • The Swedish word for paperclip is “gem.”
  • A symbol of a paperclip is still used by most email programs as the symbol for an attachment to an email.

Observing National Paperclip Day

Other than using the hashtag #NationalPaperclipDay on your social media accounts for the day, how do you celebrate this holiday? Well, you can take the time to learn more about paperclips, or you can buy some new paperclips for your desk. Beyond that, all we have to say is that you can celebrate this day any way you want.

When is it?
This year (2024)
May 29 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
May 29 Thursday
Last year (2023)
May 29 Monday
Products & Technology