Although it may have never crossed your mind, the handiest of little office gizmos – the binder clip – has a lengthy history and some creative uses.
Prior to its invention in 1910 by Washington DC resident Louis Baltzley, sheets of paper were bound together by punching holes in them and sewing them together, making the removal of one sheet very difficult. The binder clip changed all that.
Large stacks of paper that are nearly impossible to secure with a paper clip can be easily bound with a binder clip. And undone again whenever needed.
More than Just an Office Gadget
A simple strip of spring steel with two loop handles, the binder clip now comes in dozens of colors and sizes. When you pick up a package of these handy items, you are getting more than a way to hold paper together, you are getting a teeny-weeny multi-purpose tool.
- Can’t finish that sack of cookies or chips? Close it up with a binder clip.
- Falling asleep reading your book? Don’t dog-ear the pages…mark your place with a binder clip.
- Need a quick bill fold? Binder clip!
The binder clip has inventive uses outside the office too. For instance, in 1966, USAF test pilot Joseph F. Cotton used the shiny metal portion of a binder clip to short-circuit an electrical circuit panel to force the landing of an XB-70 bomber during a flight.
Then, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers in at least one medical center used extra-large binder clips to secure plastic curtains between workers and patients infected with the airborne virus.
Binder Clips and You
Are your long bangs flopping over your face as you read this little article? Binder clips make great emergency barrettes! Come on in to your nearest Postal Connections Service Center for binder clips in every size and color as well as all the paper you need to clip those clips on to.