Special Sub-Topic: Fun with Office Supplies!
|What was the very first "Post-It" note used for? (This first usage sparked the idea of the "Post-It" note and it soon became one of the most widely circulated office products in the U.S.)|
A placeholder in a choir hymnal. The original inventor of the adhesive part of the Post-It, a scientist by the name of Spencer Silver, was trying to make an extra strong adhesive when he accidentally created an extra weak one. He kept his invention, however, in case it eventually came in handy. Three years later, a colleague of Silver's, Arthur Fry, was singing in his church choir and used small pieces of paper to mark his place in the hymnal but they constantly fell out of the book. So he tried Silver's weak adhesive in conjunction with his small pieces of paper and it worked effectively. It held well but pulled away easily, not damaging the pages of the hymnal. Thus, the idea was born!
|The design of the common paper clip has not changed at all since its original invention in 1867.|
f. There have been hundreds of different designs over the years and the most common design we know today did not come out until 1894. The very first paper clip, called "The Philadelphia," was folded twice to form a triangle with the two side edges of the triangle extending slightly beyond their point of intersection. Other paper clip designs have been named "The Niagara," "The Eureka," "Banjo Paper Clip," and "Octo Clip."
|Many things from the past could be called staplers so a question about them is difficult. So let's say a stapler is a machine that fastens at least two pieces of paper together with a piece of metal. If we use this definition, who was the very first person to use a stapler?|
A king. King Louis XV of France was the first to use a machine for this purpose. Rumor has it that the first staples were made of solid gold and encrusted with precious stones. The staples were also imprinted with the royal seal. Since then, the stapler has gone through significant transformation to get to the small, compact simple machine we know today.
|By 1893, the "paper punch," a device that punches holes in pieces of paper, had already been invented, but it was in this year that Charles Brooks made a change to the "paper punch" and re-patented the improved invention. What was this innovative alteration?|
A small receptacle attached to the tool to catch the paper circles punched out of the paper. This new and improved paper punch was originally used almost exclusively as a "ticket punch" and began being used for its more modern purposes much later.
|The rubber band was invented by a man named Stephen Perry, a worker at a rubber manufacturing plant. Perry invented it as a tool for holding together paper or envelopes. In what year was the rubber band invented and patented?|
1845. While rubber was originally made from the saps of trees and plants (mainly, the ubber tree), 75% of today's rubber is synthetic and made from crude oil.
|Most stamping tools now use rubber as the material on which the image or word is printed. What material was most commonly used in stamps before rubber was utilized for this purpose?|
Brass. These types of stamps preceded rubber ones by about six years and are most commonly recognized as tools used to stamp wax and imprint it with a seal. The more contemporary rubber stamp was first invented when Charles Goodyear discovered the process by which rubber is cured in 1844. He actually made this discovery accidentally while he was working in his kitchen. While he was working, he spilled on his stove a rubber-sulfur mixture. At the time he thought nothing of it but the following morning, the resulting material was still pliable. He realized this could be a useful process and named the process vulcanization after Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.
|For what purpose was clear (Scotch) tape originally invented?|
Sealing cellophane food wrapping. Richard Drew invented the tape to help butchers, grocers and the like seal their food more effectively. It provided an aesthetically pleasing and moisture proof sealing method to keep food safe in cellophane. Richard Drew had also invented what we now call masking tape a little earlier for the original purpose of helping car painters make a clean, crisp line when painting a car two different colors.
|When were the earliest known scissors invented and used?|
Around 1500 BC. This is the most likely date scissors were first invented. The first known scissors on record appeared around roughly this time in ancient Egypt and parts of the Middle East. The original design included two blades held together at the bottom by a curved, rigid piece of bronze that you could squeeze to bring the blades together and when released, would return the blades to their original positions.
|The earliest evidence of glue was used in conjunction with what activity?|
Painting. The first primitive glue was used by Neanderthals for painting on cave walls. They found that when they mixed glue (which they made from animal hides and bones) with the paints they created, the paintings withstood moisture much better. This was important because they often painted on cave walls and moisture and condensation often covered the walls of caves which, until they realized the usefulness of this new product, ruined their paintings after a short time.
|Before the beginning of the common rubber eraser invented around 1770, what material was most commonly used to remove lead or charcoal marks on paper?|
Wax. Many different materials were used for the purpose of erasure before the rubber eraser was invented. It was even found that bread could erase charcoal or lead marks from paper! This turned out not to be a realistic or repeatable method, however, due to cost and the fact that bread rubbed on paper often did not last very long.
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