National Paperclip Day – May 29th

National Paperclip Day is a celebration that honors the humble yet indispensable office supply that holds a special place in our daily lives. From securing documents to serving as makeshift bookmarks, the paperclip is a versatile tool that often goes unnoticed in its simplicity.

This article delves into the origins of National Paperclip Day, the significance of the paperclip beyond its utilitarian function, and explores the evolution of paperclip designs over the years. Join us on a journey to discover the fascinating world of paperclips and how they have woven themselves into the fabric of our everyday routines.

1. National Paperclip Day

History of Paperclip

Many people have claimed to have invented the paperclip before, but according to the Early Office Museum, Samuel B. Fay was the first to receive a patent for a bent wire paper clip in the United States in 1867. Fay originally designed the clip to attach tickets to fabric, but it was later recognized that it could also be used to hold papers together.

Before 1899, around 50 other people received patents for similar paperclip designs. Another notable inventor was Erlman J. Wright, who received a patent for his paperclip design in 1877. He even advertised his clip for fastening newspapers.

Gem Paperclip

The Gem paperclip, believed to have been produced in Britain in the early 1870s by The Gem Manufacturing Company, was never patented. It is the most popular type of wire paperclip and is still widely used today. The paperclip made its way to the United States around 1892, and in 1904, Cushman & Denison trademarked the Gem name for paperclips. Some people still refer to paper clips as Gem clips.

Nowadays, paperclips come in all sorts of sizes, shapes, and colors, adding a touch of fun and liveliness to your paperwork. But paperclips aren’t just for holding papers together. There are so many other cool things you can do with them!

Reasons for Celebrating

National Paperclip Day is a fun way to appreciate the small but essential role that paperclips play in our daily lives. It’s a chance to celebrate their simplicity, versatility, and ability to keep our papers organized.

2. Significance of the Paperclip

Utility and Functionality

Paperclips are like unsung superheroes of the desk drawer – they hold papers together, can act as makeshift bookmarks, and even serve as emergency zipper pulls. Their straightforward design and practicality make them indispensable office supplies.

Symbolism and Cultural Impact

The paperclip has also become a symbol of unity and solidarity in various cultural contexts. During World War II, Norwegians wore paperclips on their lapels as a sign of resistance against Nazi occupation, showcasing the paperclip’s unexpected power as a symbol of strength and unity.

3. Evolution of Paperclip Designs

Traditional Paperclip Designs

The classic double-looped design of the traditional paperclip, also known as the “Gem clip,” has stood the test of time for over a century. Its simplicity and effectiveness have made it a staple in offices worldwide.

Modern Innovations in Paperclip Design

Innovative designers have put their twists on the classic paperclip, creating fun shapes and colors to add a touch of personality to this utilitarian tool. From heart-shaped paperclips to neon-colored ones, these modern variations show that even the most mundane objects can get a stylish upgrade.

4. Fun Ways to Celebrate National Paperclip Day

Paperclip-Themed Parties and Activities

Throw a paperclip-themed party with games like “Pin the Paperclip on the Paper” or create paperclip jewelry for a quirky accessory. Embrace the simplicity and creativity of paperclips in your celebration.

Paperclip Trivia and Games

Challenge your friends or colleagues to a paperclip-themed trivia quiz or engage in a paperclip sculpture-building competition. Let your imagination run wild and see what unique creations you can come up with using just paperclips.

5. Paperclip Hacks and Uses

Organization and Productivity Hacks

Paperclips aren’t just for holding papers together! Use them to organize cables and cords on your desk, label items by attaching them to paperclips with notes, or create a makeshift bookmark for your planner or notebook.

Creative Uses for Paperclips

Get crafty with your paperclips by creating custom jewelry like earrings or necklaces, fashioning them into unique keychains, or even using them to fix a zipper pull in a pinch. The possibilities are endless with a little imagination!

6. Impact of Paperclips on Everyday Life

Role in Offices and Schools

Paperclips play a crucial role in keeping documents in order in offices and classrooms alike. They are a staple tool for organizing paperwork, keeping assignments together, and ensuring important documents are easily accessible.

Environmental Impact of Paperclip Usage

While paper clips are small, their environmental impact can add up. Opt for reusable paperclips or consider paperclip alternatives made from sustainable materials to help reduce waste and lessen the carbon footprint of your stationery choices.

7. Paperclip Art and Crafts

Paperclip Sculptures and Installations

Unleash your inner artist by creating intricate sculptures or installations using paperclips. From geometric shapes to miniature structures, paperclips can be transformed into stunning works of art that will impress and inspire.

Paperclip Jewelry and Accessories

Express your style with handmade paperclip jewelry and accessories. Whether it’s a simple bracelet or a statement necklace, adding a touch of creativity to your wardrobe with paperclip-inspired pieces is both fun and fashionable.

8. Sustainable Alternatives to Traditional Paperclips

Eco-Friendly Paperclip Alternatives

Explore eco-friendly options such as paper clips made from recycled materials, bamboo clips, or even biodegradable alternatives. Making the switch to sustainable paperclip options is a small but impactful way to contribute to a greener planet.

DIY Reusable Paperclip Options

Get crafty and make your reusable paper clips using materials like wire, beads, or fabric scraps. Not only are DIY paperclips customizable to your taste, but they also promote a more sustainable approach to your stationery supplies.

In Short

As we commemorate National Paperclip Day and reflect on the remarkable impact of this small yet mighty invention, let us continue to appreciate how paperclips enhance our efficiency, creativity, and organization. Whether used for practical purposes or as the foundation for imaginative art projects, the paperclip symbolizes simplicity in design and endless possibilities.

So, the next time you reach for a paperclip, remember the legacy it carries and the role it plays in connecting our ideas, documents, and memories. Happy National Paperclip Day!

Photo by Dan Cristian Pădureț on Unsplash


1. Why do we celebrate National Paperclip Day?

National Paperclip Day is celebrated to acknowledge the significance of the paperclip as a versatile and essential tool in our daily lives. It serves as a reminder of the inventiveness and simplicity behind this common office supply.

2. Are there different types of paperclip designs available?

Yes, there is a variety of paperclip designs ranging from the traditional oval-shaped to more modern and innovative styles. Different designs cater to various functions and preferences, adding a touch of personality to this seemingly mundane item.

3. How can I reuse paper clips in creative ways?

Paperclips can be repurposed in numerous creative ways, such as crafting jewelry, organizing cables, creating art pieces, and even as bookmarks. Their versatility extends beyond merely holding papers together, offering endless possibilities for DIY projects and innovative solutions.

4. What are some eco-friendly alternatives to traditional paperclips?

For those looking to reduce waste and environmental impact, there are sustainable alternatives to traditional paperclips. Options include reusable metal clips, biodegradable paper fasteners, and even homemade paperclip substitutes using materials like recycled wire or fabric scraps.

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