Are you just dyed-in-the-wool when it comes to certain things? Like hanging the toilet paper over the holder and not under? Clean glasses in the cupboard face down or face up?
Well, today I encountered something that I never knew would bother me, but the more I think about it, the more ridiculous it is.
My boss handed me a stack of several documents, each with its own paper clip. And the paper clips were on backwards! Do you know what I mean? Google Images isn’t cooperating with me today, but I can describe it like this: the longer piece of the paper clip sits on the front of your document.
And now, the Google rabbit hole has me wondering how we ended up with the paper clip in the first place.
When Norwegian Johann Vaaler patented his paper clip in 1901, there already were similar designs on the books. William Middlebrook of Waterbury, Connecticut patented his design in 1899. Cornelius Brosnan of Springfield, Massachusetts patented his Konaclip in 1900. Vaaler is considered to be the first king of the paper clip. Drawings of his design date to early 1899, but since Norway had no patent law at the time, he had to seek patent rights in Germany and the US in the following years. Born in 1866 in Norway, Vaaler was known as an innovator in his youth. He graduated in electronics, science and mathematics. He was employed by the owner of an invention office when he invented the paperclip in 1899. Several designs followed the original. Only a few remain, such as the Ideal, Non-Skid, Owl and Gem. The first double-oval clip, the Gem, was launched in early-1900 by Gem Manufacturing Ltd of England.
Did you know?
- All paper clips are made from steel or plastic
- Other uses for a paperclip include as a screwdriver and lock opener
- In World War II, “Operation Paper Clip” was an operation to extract scientists from Nazi Germany
- During the Nazi occupation of Norway in World War II, Norwegians made the paper clip a symbol of national unity. Wearing a paper clip was often reason enough for arrest.
- 18 billion paper clips are used annually just in the United States.
But wait, back to my young boss who incorrectly uses a paper clip. Do I point it out to her? Do I just let it slide, realizing that her paper clip usage is inconsequential to me? I vote for the latter. Right Clippy?