Three Things You Didn’t Know About Paper Clips

The centuries-old design of the classic paper clip has changed little over the years.

Pile of paper clips
Paper clips are one of the most effective and easy ways to bind papers together.Pexels

Not many things maintain the same design for over a century, but the humble paper clip has remained much the same over the last 150 years or so. This useful item is invaluable for myriad tasks beyond its initial purpose: binding papers together. This curved-wire wonder can be found everywhere from offices to toolsheds, filing cabinets to kitchen drawers and everywhere in between. Here are a few paper clip facts you might not have known.

Officemate Giant Paper Clips

Muddy Roots

Though some countries have claimed the title, the actual inventor of the paper clip remains a mystery.Officemate

It is widely believed that the paper clip was invented in Norway around 1899, with a giant paper clip erected outside a college in Oslo in testament. But the familiar design actually dates back to the 1870s, when the Gem Manufacturing Company, Ltd. in Britain produced it. Though no one is sure who invented it, it was in production for a couple decades before Johan Vaaler of Norway came up with his design. Nevertheless, the Norwegian inventor was credited with the design in encyclopedias released shortly after World War II.

DSTELIN Binder Clips Paper Clamps Assorted Sizes

35 Paper Clips Per American

Inexpensive and easy to manufacture, the majority of paper clips are produced in the U.S.DSTELIN

American consumers purchase some 11 million paper clips a year. This astounding figure amounts to about 35 paper clips per person in the United States. Unlike many cheap consumables, the bulk of paper clips used in the U.S. were produced in American factories. If one were to figure the average weight of a paper clip at a gram, that would amount to 24,250 pounds of springy wire!

Officemate PVC Free Color Coated Paper Clips

World’s Largest Paper Clip?

While the real thing is small and almost weightless, the world record paper clip weighs over 1,000 pounds.Officemate

The home of the world’s largest paper clip has traded places a few times over the years. Oslo, Norway first displayed a giant paper clip measuring 22 feet, 11 inches long in 1989. Kipling, Saskatchewan, Canada got their oversized paper clip certified by the Guinness Book as the “World’s Largest” on July 12, 2007. The Canadian clip measures 45 feet, 7 inches and weighs a whopping 3,043 pounds. The current Guinness world record holder was crowned on May 29, 2010 in Miass, Russia. The length is only 30 feet, 5 inches, and weighs 1,168 pounds.

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