The not so simple paper clip

It is surprising where the topic of inventions and patents can pop up. This evening on BBC 2’s topical comedy show Mock the Week, one of the panellists mentioned the humble paper clip and how it had never been patented.

As I soon discovered this could not have been further from the truth as can be seen at


However the iconic version of the this ubiquitous product shown above and produced by Gem Manufacturing an English company prior to 1899 was first patented by Johan Vaaler a Norwegian. However it appears that Vaaler did not make any money out of ‘his’ invention. Which just goes to show.

2 Responses to The not so simple paper clip

  1. […] story I on my blogs (by a factor of 4) was the one about the humble paper clip from August 2007 The not so simple paper clip. I have spend some time trying work out why this particular story has proved to be so popular, but […]

  2. […] It reminded me of one of my earliest posts on this blog, way back in 2007, British Standard for a cup of tea – BS 6008. Surprisingly this has become my third most popular topic of all time (after the Bic Crystal ballpoint pen and the not so simple paper clip) […]

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