Fact File about the Invention of the Paperclip: Invention: Paperclip *** Date of Invention: 1899 *** Name of Inventor: William D. Middlebrook *** Lifespan of Inventor: 1846 - 1914 *** Nationality of Inventor: American *** Historical Period: Second US Industrial Revolution / Victorian (1850 - 1914) *** Category: Office Equipment *** Country of Origin: America *** Facts about the Inventor, William D. Middlebrook, and the invention of the Paperclip ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Paperclip? The machine for producing the steel Paperclip was invented by William D. Middlebrook
in 1899 during the Second US Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1850 -
Fact 2: Who invented the Paperclip? The history of the paperclip dates
back to 105 AD when a Chinese court official named Cai Lun significantly improved the existing form of
paper and standardized the
paper-making process, although it remained an expensive commodity for many
Fact 3: Who invented the Paperclip? The Industrial Revolution saw the
rise of industrial paper mills which made inexpensive paper widely available.
The rise of commerce and big business during this era resulted in masses of
loose sheets of paperwork.
Fact 4: Who invented the Paperclip? Prior to the invention of the
Paperclip in 1899, iron wire pins were used to secure pieces of paper together
but the iron pins rusted and left stains and holes in the papers they pressed
Fact 5: Who invented the Paperclip? The Age of Steel emerged during the
Second Industrial Revolution when Henry Bessemer invented
Steel in 1855. Cheap, industrially produced steel wire was used for numerous
objects such as rust-free hooks and safety pins. It wasn't long before someone
had the idea of replacing the iron wire pins with pins made from steel and
William D. Middlebrook was the man to capitalize on the idea.
Fact 6: Who invented the Paperclip? William D. Middlebrook did not
actually invent the paperclip - he invented a "Machine for making wire
paper-clips" which made paperclips cheap and readily available to everyone.
Fact 7: Who invented the Paperclip? The earliest patented clip, designed
for attaching tickets to fabric, was called a Fay Clip and was patented by
Samuel B. Fay in 1867. Charles Henry Gould invented the Stapler in 1868 and
other types of clips, fasteners were patented by D. S. Gorman, Erlman J. Wright
and Frank Angell.
Fact 8: Who invented the Paperclip? The famous GEM paperclip was made of
steel wire bent to a looped shape and most types of paper clips were variations
of the shape. But it was William D. Middlebrook who commercialized the
Fact 9: Who invented the Paperclip? The man ultimately credited with the
invention of the Paperclip, William D. Middlebrook, was born on March 19, 1846 in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States and died on August 29, 1914.
Fact 10: Who invented the Paperclip? The early years of William D. Middlebrook were spent in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States where he was raised by his family.
His parents were Sidney S. Middlebrook & Adaline Wooster.
Fact 11: Who invented the Paperclip? William D. Middlebrook received a
fairly basic education at local schools by developed a passion for all of the
inventions of the Second Industrial Revolution and was fascinated by the
Bessemer process for making steel.
Fact 12: Who invented the Paperclip? William D. Middlebrook began working
in engineering which led to his invention of the modern paperclip and a machine
to make them.
Fact 13: Who invented the Paperclip? William D. Middlebrook filed for a
patent for his "Machine for making wire paper-clips" on April 27, 1899 and on
November 7, 1899 he received patent number US 636272 for his invention. The
Assignee name for the patent application was Cushman & Denison of New York. The
detailed drawing that accompanied the patent application clearly shows an image
of the double oval shape of the modern paperclip.
Fact 14: Who invented the Paperclip? Cushman & Denison, a manufacturing
company in the office supplies business, clearly demonstrated an interest in the
invention at this point and went on to purchase the William D. Middlebrook
patent at the end of 1899.
Fact 15: Who invented the Paperclip? Cushman and Denison perfected the
design of the paperclip by rounding the sharp points at the ends of the of the
wire so the paper clip would not catch or tear the papers they held together.
Fact 16: Who invented the Paperclip? Cushman and Denison also trademarked
the name "GEM" in connection with paperclips in 1899. By 1907, the Gem brand of
paperclip was the most popular of its type in the world and were supplied in
distinctive small, black boxes.
Fact 17: Who invented the Paperclip? Advertisements for the GEM Paperclips
stated that they "will hold securely your letters, documents, or memoranda
without perforation or mutilation until you wish to release them."
Fact 18: Who invented the Paperclip? William D. Middlebrook died on
August 29, 1914 and was buried at the Evergreen Cemetery, Watertown, Litchfield
County, Connecticut. The paperclip is still in use to this day, despite the