Jones Star Paper Fastener

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Jones Star Fastener v1 wm sm

A long time ago in an office far, far away…

When our office hero needed to fasten a number of papers together in the 19th century they would use one of the then available options: pins, mucilage (paste/glue), an eyelet fastener, or maybe a staple driver that could load one staple at a time, amongst others.  But in 1895 Jones Manufacturing released what is arguably the first modern stapler, the Star.   

The Star is a “strip stapler”.  It uses a strip of staples formed from a single piece of metal as opposed to the modern strip made up of about 100 individual staples glued together.  While it necessitated a greater amount of force to staple as it had to cut it from the strip, it was a major improvement on other methods available at the time.  At the back end of the stapler is a spiral coil.  This coil served to hold additional staples.  All Star fasteners had this spiral coil unlike the Hotchkiss no 1 which came in versions both with and without the coil.

The eponymous Eli H. Hotchkiss acquired Jones Manufacturing around 1901 and renamed the company after himself, the E.H. Hotchkiss Co.  Hotchkiss released the Hotchkiss Star Fastener which became the Hotchkiss No 1 about 1903.  It’s interesting to note that the Hotchkiss Star is nearly identical to the Jones Star with only the casting of the name on the base changed.  Before the release of the Star, Jones Manufacturing was known for making typewriter supplies.

1895 American Stationer Ad wm sm

1895 magazine ad

The Star came out in two versions.  The earlier version, version 1, was made entirely from iron and steel and was nickel plated.  It measures 2.15 inches wide by 5.25 inches long by 4.25 inches high and weighs 1 pound 4 ounces empty.  Version 1 was available 1895 to approximately 1897.

The second version was also made from iron and steel and was nickel plated.  It measures 2.15 inches wide by 5.25 inches long by 4.25 inches high and weighs 1 pound empty.  It was available approximately 1897 to 1901.

Jones Star Fastener side by side wm sm

1897 Anaconda Standard Ad wm sm

1897 newspaper ad


1899 The Times Ad wm sm

1899 newspaper ad

There are a number of small differences between the two versions.  The following chart and figures highlight them.

AREAVERSION 1VERSION 2
frontopen from bottom to halfway uptotally open
anviltaller than version 2, 10mm in heightshorter than version 1, 8mm in height
sidesmooth with visual staple indicator holetwo rivets on bottom of plate with visual staple indicator hole
body bottompart of body, three screwssmooth, no screws, middle portion made of separate plate
base markingsrectangular plaque with infoinfo cast directly into base
base bottomfront third solid to bottom of basehollow with round hole towards rear and PATENT APPL’D FOR cast in
Star Version Comparison wm sm

version comparison with differences highlighted

Star Base Comparison wm sm

base bottom comparison with differences highlighted

The Jones Star Paper Fastener is a rare antique fastener.  But not as rare as the short time it was manufactured would lead you to think.  With some diligent searching, and a little time, you find these turning up on the internet.

Notes:

  1. A.A. Weeks, (1895, March), advertisement. The American Stationer, page 429
  2. Hoskins, (1895, November 17), advertisement. The Philadelphia Times, page 2
  3. Editors, (1896, January), Trade Items. The American Stationer, page 64
  4. Standard Publishing Co, (1897, November 22), advertisement. The Anaconda Standard, page 10
  5. Hoskins, (1898, March 7), advertisement, The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 2
  6. Hoskins, (1899, July 20), advertisement, The Philadelphia Times, page 2
  7. Hoskins, (1900, July 10), advertisement, The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 5
  8. Wm. H. Hoskins, (1901, April 12), advertisement, The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 15

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If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION
  4. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 3 – ACE FASTENER

You’ll get one-of-a-kind references and information you won’t find anywhere else and you’ll help me keep American Stationer going.

Lever Press Type Stapleless Paper Fastener

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Stapleless Stapler group wm sm

from left to right: Chadwick (Japan), Alco (Japan), Eska (West Germany)

By the 1950’s the stapleless stapler largely fell out of favor as an office item.  There were a number of reasons but the main one was the limitation this type of item had on the number of papers it could attach together.  Generally, these could fasten from two to eight pieces of paper.  To fasten more papers you would need a regular stapler.  Why spend money on an additional piece of office equipment when you could just purchase a stapler, which you needed to have anyway?

Fast forward to the mid-1960’s.  World War 2 has now been over for twenty years and the economies of Japan and West Germany are getting on their feet.  These countries had a reputation at the time for manufacturing low quality consumer goods that were very inexpensive.  However, much like China does today, many of these items were manufactured for other companies and sold under the importing company’s name.

1968 Des Moines Register ad wm

1968 newspaper ad

This brings us to 1966.  Suddenly, there is an explosion of hand-held plier type stapleless staplers being advertised in U.S. newspapers.  These were successful enough that in 1968 you start to see a new form factor in stapleless staplers, the desktop lever-type.

Theoretically, having a lever meant more leverage and that meant more fastening power.  However, the reality is that due to the inexpensive nature of these machines they were still limited to being able to fasten about eight sheets of paper.  These fasteners were made from pressed steel that was very thin.  The side panels covering the mechanism were so thin they were almost translucent.  When you find these you’ll notice that the lever is often bent.  Again, that is a reflection of the thinness of the metal used.

Fastening Sample

sample of fastening

These were made from 100% steel.  Measuring 5.75 inches long by 2.188 inches wide by 4.25 inches high and weighing 10.5 ounces.  Most of these came with a rubber base cover to protect the surface it was placed on from being scratched.  The cutting mechanism was more durable than the rest of the fastener and used a modified Bump-type method.

lever press internal bw wm

internal mechanism

These stapleless staplers were heavily advertised from 1968 to 1974.  They were likely available for a short time both before and after this time period but not much.  Import companies such as Chadwick and Alco sold these under their name.  Department stores, such as Grant’s, sold them under their name (see Grant Miracle Paper Fastener).   These were also available via mail order.

By the mid-1970’s their popularity waned and while still sold, were no longer advertised.  But the legacy lives on today in newer offerings, again mainly from Japan, of stapleless staplers.  While now made with plastic bodies they are a good quality item and especially useful for home and school purposes.

1972 Morning Call ad wm sm

1972 newspaper ad

1974 Press Democrat ad wm sm

1974 newspaper ad

The lever press stapleless staplers from this time period are easy to find and often in good condition.  Watch for bent or missing levers.  If the lever is only slightly bent then usually a small “adjustment” with a pair of pliers is all it takes to bring this back to original condition.  If the lever is missing pass it by.

Notes:

  1. Younkers, (1968, September), advertisement. Des Moines Register, page 8
  2. The Crescent, (1969, July), advertisement. Spokane Daily Chronicle, page 8
  3. People’s Drug Stores, (1970, June), advertisement. The News, page A-9
  4. Tower’s Department Store, (1971, December), advertisement. The Ottawa Journal, page 43
  5. Jay Norris Mail Order, (1972, August), advertisement, Hartford Courant, page F1
  6. Dillard’s, (1973, December), advertisement, The Austin American-Statesman, page B4
  7. RAS Mail Order House, (1974, January), advertisement, Press Democrat, page 13

Help support the American Stationer.  The site really needs your help in order to stay alive.  Please become a supporting  patron by subscribing to our Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/americanstationer

Visit me at https://www.facebook.com/groups/americanstationer and let’s get all nerdy about office stuff  🙂

If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION
  4. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 3 – ACE FASTENER

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E.L. Sibley Mfg Co Challenge Eyelet Press No 1

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Nowadays if you think of a device for fastening two or more pieces of paper together you are probably picturing a stapler.  But before the stapler came on the scene what did people use?  If you were a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or a government worker you would likely use an eyelet press.

Consumer level eyelet presses were introduced in the 1850’s.  The reason for their popularity in the professions was that an eyelet was much more difficult to remove without also damaging the papers they held.  This provided a layer of security (important even then) ensuring that papers that were fastened together hadn’t been tampered with.

Edward L. Sibley was both a lawyer and a probate judge.  However, his true calling was as an inventor.  After about eight years as a judge in 1886 Mr. Sibley left the law profession to pursue his dream and he opened a tiny manufacturing concern that he named E.L. Sibley Manufacturing Company.  And his first, and longest lived, product was his passion the Challenge Eyelet Press. 

The Challenge Eyelet Press was manufactured using iron and tool steel.  It was designed to be fast, desk-sized, easy to use, and durable.  In all four areas the Challenge was a tremendous success.  The following is from a review of the Challenge and gives instructions on its use:

instructions from 1928 digest entry

It should be noted that the removal process was for the use of the special Challenge eyelets and may not work with other types of eyelets.

 

1912 office supply catalog illustration

As you can see from the above the Challenge enjoyed several advanced features that other presses didn’t have such as punching its own hole and being able to remove the eyelet after it had been fastened.  Another feature this had was its simple and elegant design with a minimum of moving parts.  It meant that coupled with the build quality and materials it almost never needed repair.

While Sibley starting making this eyelet press in 1886/7 the first known advertisement is from 1891.  The Challenge was still being made in 1971 although by that time it was not being advertised.  The trademark expired in 1987 showing that by this time the Challenge was no longer being made.  This is a manufacturing run of over one hundred years with little change being made to the design over that period – a true testament to Sibley’s genius.

1895 newspaper ad

The Challenge is known to have been released in two versions.  The first version, pictured above, weighs 4 pounds 13 ounces and measures 2.5 inches wide by 6 inches long by 12.5 inches in height.  It features gold painted designs on the sides, a gold painted shield on the front, and gold painted “plaques” on each side of the base.  You can date a first version by looking at the front shield.  If it states that it was registered in 1907 then you know it was made after that year.

The second version, pictured below, weighs 4 pounds 4.7 ounces and measures 2.5 inches wide by 5.75 inches long by 12.25 inches in height, making it slightly smaller and lighter than the first version.  It is japanned and features gold painted designs on the sides and a brass plaque on its right side.  This version was introduced on or around 1916.

Challenge Eyelet Press v2

1952 newspaper picture

1918 newspaper ad

1925 newspaper ad

Edward Sibley not only held the patent for the Challenge Eyelet press, but for the eyelets.  He also held at least five other patents for various other items including a stapler similar to the Eveready that was never produced.

E.L. Sibley Mfg Co not only produced the Challenge but also the KO Punch.  They also had other enterprises such as ochre mining and automobile engine remanufacturing amongst others.  During World War 2 they stopped making the Challenge but picked it up again after the war.  During the war they made parts for the war effort.  After the war E.L. Sibley Mfg Co also did subcontract work for jet engine parts.

E.L. Sibley remained a family concern through most of its history.  When Edward Sibley died his son Tarrant became President and when he died his son, Tarrant Sibley II, took over.

Patent and Other Information:

  • Patent 358224 Riveting Machine (filed 03/16/1886, granted 02/22/1887)
  • Patent 358225 Rivet (filed 10/29/1886, granted 02/22/1887)
  • Patent 691012 Eyeleting Machine (filed 04/08/1901, granted 01/14/1902)

Notes:

  1. S. Trademark No. 71499861. (1887/1907/1947). Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  2. S. Trademark No. 71213324. (1887/1925/1945). Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  3. Clarke & Courts, (1891, May), For Sale. The Galveston Daily News, page 5
  4. F. Purnell, (1895, March), advertisement. The Daily Bee, page 3
  5. Cameron, Amberg & Co Stationery Catalogue, (1908), Chicago, Illinois, page 62
  6. Crane & Company Catalogue, (1912), Topeka, Kansas, page 44
  7. Tribune Printing & Supply Co, (1918, September), advertisement. Great Falls Daily Tribune, page 4
  8. Horder’s Inc, (1925, October), advertisement, Chicago Daily Tribune, page 14
  9. Business Machines & Equipment Digest. Chicago, Illinois, Equipment Research Corporation, 1927
  10. McClurg’s Catalog, (1935-1936), Chicago, Illinois, page 182
  11. Editors, (1944, January), Sibley Plant Taken Over By Brandon Firm. The Bennington Evening Banner, pp 1, 5
  12. William J. Burton, (1952, December), Dissatisfied Lawyer Was Founder of Machinery Plant Which Plans Programs of Growth, Expansion. The Evening Banner, page 7
  13. Editors, (1971, June), North Bennington. Bennington Banner, page 8

Help support the American Stationer.  The site really needs your help in order to stay alive.  Please become a supporting  patron by subscribing to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/americanstationer

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If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION

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A.H. Irvin Co New Irvin Model 2L Stapling Machine

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If E.H. Hotchkiss can be considered the father of the modern stapler, then A.H. Irvin is the “uncle”.  The reason that the Star Automatic Fastener and later the Hotchkiss No 1 became so popular is directly due to the hard work of this formidable salesman.  He was involved with Jones Manufacturing by 1897 and afterwards the E.H. Hotchkiss company, the very beginnings of the strip stapler.  Not only was he instrumental in the success of E.H. Hotchkiss but he is also part of the success of the Compo stapler.  He was successful enough that Hotchkiss ended up acquiring Compo.  Many of the improvements to these various staplers was at his recommendation which made him instrumental in their overall development.

photo from 1902

Alex H. Irvin managed the distribution of these items through his company, the Alex H. Irvin Co.  But one of his lesser known endeavors is the release of his own line of branded stapling machines which included the New Irvin model 2L.

The model 2L was Irvin’s heavy-duty lever operated fastener and rated to staple up to 50 sheets of paper.  It uses strip staples (see below) which are formed from a single piece of metal.  This machine was made of nickel-plated pressed steel which made it both stronger and lighter than its main competition, the Hotchkiss No 2.  Another feature that differentiated the Irvin staplers was that they were put together using screws.  This may seem minor but most staplers were held together with rivets or pins.  This made them impossible to repair without specialized tools.  With the screws, anyone with a screwdriver could take their fastener apart and fix most minor issues themselves.  The 2L measures 10.44 inches long by 2.25 inches wide by 9.25 in height.  It weighs 2 pounds 7.5 ounces empty.

This was manufactured for A.H. Irvin Co by the B. Jahn Manufacturing Co.  Berthold Jahn is one of the inventors listed on the patents for this device and the patents were assigned to his company.  He is actually listed on all of the patents used for the stapling machines released by A.H. Irvin Co.

1921 magazine ad

The New Irvin 2L was released in early 1921 and is known to have been available at least until 1924.  While it is possible it was available after this time it likely wasn’t available much longer than 1924.  It’s a quality machine but it wasn’t heavily advertised and didn’t seem to gain much traction with stationers of the time.

1923 magazine ad

Irvin staple strip

 

Patent and Other Information:

Notes:

  1. Editors, (1903, October), The Story of the Man Who Made the Star Stapler Famous. The Book-Keeper, pp 178-180
  2. Alex H. Irvin Co, (1921, November), advertisement. Walden’s Stationer and Printer, page 45
  3. Alex H. Irvin Co, (1923, May), advertisement, Office Appliances the News and Technical Trade Journal of Office Equipment, page 251
  4. Editors, (1924, March 7), Appliances for Business Office. The Hollywood Daily Citizen, page 5

Help support the American Stationer.  The site really needs your help in order to stay alive.  Please become a supporting  patron by subscribing to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/americanstationer

Visit me at http://www.facebook.com/americanstationer and let’s get all nerdy about office stuff  🙂

If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION

You’ll get one-of-a-kind references and information you won’t find anywhere else and you’ll help me keep American Stationer going.

 

 

 

Hamilton No 16 Postal Scale

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Tucked away in a small town directly south of Boston, Hamilton Specialties Inc. of Randolph, Massachusetts was the base for a company that specialized in small office and home use postal scales.  This company made a number of different models but one of the most commonly found is the Hamilton  No 16.

The model 16 is a pendulum-type scale that uses a set weight as a counterbalance to the item being weighed.  Simply place your mail on the weighing platform and the dial indicator will give you the weight in ounces up to one pound.

As the surface the scale was placed on could affect the accuracy of any measurements, there is an adjusting screw (see diagram) that will allow you to zero the scale.  Once properly adjusted the scale is quite accurate and works well as a first class letter postal scale.

diagram

The No 16 is a smaller scale measuring 5.5 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 5.5 inches in height.  It weighs 9.6 ounces and is made from pressed steel and aluminum.  The label on the front is made from “vinylite” and was made to be replaceable so that when postal rates changed you could easily update it.

1958 newspaper ad

As noted, this scale is fine for weighing envelopes and small flats, but it was not designed with packages in mind, even small ones.  You could certainly use this to weigh small, light items but if you regularly sent out packages of any size you’d want to purchase a more robust scale for your needs.

The Hamilton No 16 was advertised in the U.S. from 1953 to 1963 but might have been available for a longer time.  With a simple and elegant design coupled with quality materials it’s not unusual to find this scale out in the wild and in good shape.  This can also be considered a “working antique” in that you can pick this up at a vintage store, clean it a bit, adjust it, then place it on your desk and start using it for its intended purpose.  Just make sure to look up current postal rates…

1962 newspaper ad

Notes:

  1. Goldsmith Bros. Stationery Catalogue (1953), New York, NY, page 89
  2. McCloy’s, (1958, March 17), advertisement. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, page 5
  3. PK Smith and Company, (1958, February), advertisement. Petersburg Independent
  4. Dieckhaus Stationers, (1962, March 27), advertisement. The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 5
  5. WOSCO Inc Catalog, (1963), Greensburg, PA, page 248

 

Help support the American Stationer.  The site really needs your help in order to stay alive.  Please become a supporting  patron by subscribing to our Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/americanstationer

Visit me at http://www.facebook.com/americanstationer and let’s get all geeky about office supplies  🙂

If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION

You’ll get one-of-a-kind references and information you won’t find anywhere else and you’ll help me keep American Stationer going.

 

Bates Staple Remover & Punch

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bates staple remover and punch wm sm

Many folks who collect antique and vintage office equipment tend to specialize.  There are people who only collect typewriters, or fountain pens, or mechanical calculating machines and so on.  And there are also those who collect staplers and paper fastening machines.  But one of the items I’ve mentioned time and again as getting little interest or respect is the lowly staple remover.

As for me, I love ’em!  If I see something unique or unknown I’ll always pick it up.  I find it absolutely fascinating (and sometimes hilarious) the amount of engineering that has been invested into a task like removing a staple.  There isn’t the same amount of variety amongst staple removers as there are for other items but enough that I’ve devoted 5% of my website to them.  And I have to admit that I could easily double that using just some of the removal tools in my collection.

That brings me to this month’s item, the Bates Staple Remover & Punch.  Not only will it remove staples but it is also a 0.25 inch diameter single hole punch.  Multi-tools are often impressively designed but tend to suffer in usability.  A single tool can do a number of different things but generally it won’t do well on any particular task.  There are exceptions though and the Bates Staple Remover & Punch is one of them.  Well, it mostly does ok…

It punches a solitary hole in your papers like a champ.  Perfectly round and with a distinct lack of paper where the hole is.  Exactly what it is supposed to do.  The staple remover also works, but it tends to be a bit rougher on the paper than a claw-type remover would be.  However, on a thick stack of papers it works much better at removing unwanted staples with little damage to said papers.

This tool is made from 100% pressed steel and will be making holes and removing staples for your great-great grandchildren.  It is really a tough little beast with a minimum of moving parts that could ever cause problems.  If you find one in tough shape a little bit of cleaning and a drop or two of oil is likely all it will take to make it serviceable again.

1952 Baltimore Sun Ad wm sm

1952 newspaper ad

The Bates Staple Remover & Punch was advertised from 1952 to 1959.   While it was likely available separately after that year it is known to have been available as part of small stationery sets released by “Valiant” and “Majestic” at least until 1970.  These sets usually consisted of a mini stapler, the Staple Remover & Punch, and a small box of staples in a plastic pouch.

bates staple remover and punch bottom wm sm

The Bates measures 3.4 inches by 0.65 inches by 2 inches and weighs 1.3 ounces.  It will easily fit into a desk drawer, a pouch, school bag, pocket, or brief case.  And if you have a collection of staplers then you really need to have a collection of staple removers too!

 

Patent and Other Information:

  • Patent 2685929 Combined Staple Remover and Punch (filed 01/27/51, granted 08/10/54)

Notes:

  1. Lucas Bros, (1952, February 18), advertisement. The Baltimore Sun, page 13
  2. Stationer Corporation Catalog (1953), Chicago, IL, page 238
  3. Meier & Frank Co, (1959, February 26), advertisement. Capital Journal, page 12
  4. Eaton’s, (1965, November 2), advertisement. The Leader-Post, page 36
  5. Hamlin’s Red Cross Drug Stores, (1970, September 23), advertisement. Press and Sun Bulletin, page 16A

 

Help support the American Stationer.  The site really needs your help in order to stay alive.  Please become a supporting  patron by subscribing to our Patreon at www.patreon.com/americanstationer

 

Visit me at http://www.facebook.com/americanstationer and let’s get all geeky about office supplies  🙂

If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION

You’ll get one-of-a-kind references and information you won’t find anywhere else and you’ll help me keep American Stationer going.

Ace Model 600 Staple Remover

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There can’t be many things as thrilling as a staple remover.  They’re right up there on the list of exciting stuff next to watching paint dry and drinking warm tap water.  At least that’s what some people think about them.  But I disagree.  If they don’t seem particularly exciting it’s because of their ubiquitousness and nearly perfect functional design.  They do exactly what they were designed to do and do it perfectly time after time without issue.

While stapling machines were available since the late 1870’s it wasn’t until around 1916 that you see the first patents for purpose designed staple removing tools.  None of the few patents that came out in the earliest parts of the 20th century made any kind of an impact and this was likely due to the size and toughness of the then standard strip staples.  It wasn’t until the 1930’s that staple removers really started to be an accepted office tool.  It isn’t a coincidence that you begin to see modern-type cohered staples starting in the mid-1920’s and a short few years afterwards staple removers for them.

1937 office supply catalog

And it was during this golden age of staple removal designs that we first see the jaw-type (or claw-type if you prefer) staple remover introduced.  And while everyone seems to make this style of remover today it was originally introduced by Ace Fastener Corp as their Model No 600 Staple Remover.

The first known advertisement for the No 600 was in 1937, although it is known to have been available in 1935.  While nearly impossible to find in the U.S. currently the No 600 remover is actually still being manufactured to this very day.

side-by-side comparison of versions 1, 2, and 3

There are three different versions of the No 600 which are all easily identifiable.

version 1

  • measures 1.5 inches wide by 1.4 inches in height by 2.25 inches long
  • weighs 1 ounce
  • made from 100% steel
  • available starting about 1935 to 1948

version 2

  • measures 1.5 inches wide by 1.6 inches in height by 2.25 inches long
  • weighs 1.75 ounces
  • made from 100% steel, including handles
  • available approximately 1948 to 1950

version 3

  • measures 1.5 inches wide by 1.7 inches in height by 2.25 inches long
  • weighs 1.5 ounces
  • made from steel with plastic handles
  • available 1950 to present

1946 newspaper ad for the Ace Stapler [sic] Remover

1958 newspaper ad

1963 office supply catalog

1978 newspaper ad

1984 newspaper ad

Along with the obvious design differences between the three versions, if you have the original box you can further focus the time when your staple remover was manufactured.  However, the version 3 No 600 did not change from 1950 at least through the 1990’s.  The size, markings, and materials stayed the same throughout this time so without the original box you will not be able to determine an accurate age.

circa 1930’s box (I’m curious as to what a shooting wire staple remover is)

circa 1940’s box

circa 1950’s box

circa 1960’s box

circa 1970’s box

circa 1980’s box

circa 1990’s -present box

In the early 1990’s Ace Fastener Co was acquired by a large Korean company.  From that time forward many of Ace’s historic fasteners were replaced by more modern, plastic designs made in Taiwan, South Korea, and other places.  By the time you get to the early 2000’s almost all Ace staplers are no longer available in the U.S.

Patent and Other Information:

  • Patent 2033050 Tool for Removing Staples (filed 12/12/32, granted 03/03/36)
  • Patent 2596719 Staple Remover (filed 09/02/49, granted 05/13/52)

Notes:

  1. Horder’s Office Supply Catalog (1937), Chicago, IL, page 206
  2. S. Trademark 363,964, (1939, January 17), “ACE”
  3. Standard Printing & Office Supply Store, (1946, April 2), advertisement. The Alexandria Daily Town Talk, page 4
  4. Stationer Corporation Catalog (1953), Chicago, IL, page 234
  5. Perry Office Supply Catalog (1963), Syracuse, NY, page 46
  6. Mid-Carolina Office Equipment, (1978, October 16), advertisement. The Times and Democrat, page 9A
  7. New Office Supply, (1984, April 22), advertisement. Green Bay Press-Gazette, page B-9

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Wilson-Jones Tatum T-100 Aluminum Stapler

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Tatum T-100 Stapler wm sm

Part 1

1952 Apr 6 Morning Star Sun Ad wm sm

1952 newspaper ad

Part 2

T-100 box wm sm

T-100 box

HOW TO LOAD STAPLES IN THE T-100

1) Pivot the body 180 degrees rearward as shown in figure 1 below.

Reload Step 1A wm sm

figure 1

2) Locate the feed plate as shown in figure 2.

Reload Step 1B & 6 wm sm

figure 2

3) Open the feed plate (note, on some fasteners the feed plate can be very tight)

Reload Step 2 wm sm

figure 3

4)  With the feed plate open slide out the entire feed assembly.

Reload Step 3 wm sm

figure 4

5) With the feed assembly removed insert staples (with legs pointing upwards) into the magazine.

Reload Step 4 wm sm

figure 5

6) With the staples fully inserted, replace the feed assembly

Reload Step 5 wm sm

figure 6

7)  Close the feed plate (figure 7) and pivot the body 180 degrees forward (figure 8)

Reload Step 1B & 6 wm sm

figure 7

Tatum T-100 Stapler wm sm

figure 8

Patent and Other Information:

Notes:

  1. Wallace Office Equipment, (1950, July 25), advertisement. The Blizzard, page 14
  2. E. Magnell, (1950, October 2), New Products and New Methods. The Hartford Courant, page 7
  3. Delta Office Supply Co, (1952, April 6), advertisement. Valley Morning Star, page 8A
  4. Eggleston Office Equipment Co, (1959, September 6), advertisement. Poughkeepsie Journal, page 10B
  5. Ace Hardware, (1962, October 15), advertisement. Racine Journal-Times, page 8B
  6. American Stationer is 7 years old this month and to celebrate I busted out my SMC Coronet Automatic 12 electric typewriter. It’s dirty, a bit loud, and smells funny, but types like a dream.  I’d fix the first three items but am afraid I’d lose the fourth 🙂

SCM Coronet Automatic 12 typewriter sm

Ace Aceliner Model No 502 Stapler

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Aceliner Stapler v2 green wm sm

One of the criteria you can use to measure success is if something stands the test of time. The Ace Aceliner model 502 was made for over 50 years with almost no changes. I think that qualifies as being very, very successful.

If you have one of these fasteners the reasons for its longevity become readily apparent. Solidly built, surprisingly heavy-duty, and dependable as death and taxes. If that’s all the Aceliner [note 1] had going for it you wouldn’t be surprised by its success. However, add in the unique styling and thoughtful ergonomics and what you end up with is one of the best looking, best built staplers ever made.

1941 Geyer's Topics 1941 June page 41 wm sm

1941 magazine ad

There were a total of four plus versions of the Aceliner manufactured. The first versions all have the same specifics. Each weighs 1 pound 4 ounces and measures 7.75 inches long by 1.7 inches wide by 2.7 inches in height. They are made with all steel parts which according to literature was “triple-chromed”. There are also two rubber feet and a plastic handle. The handle was made of a plastic known as catalin as was the decorative plastic disc inside the push-rod head [note 2].

The 502 was advertised, and the bottom of the stapler states this as well, as needing Ace no 2025 or 20253 staples. However, the no 2025/20253 staple is exactly the same size as a standard-size staple so standard staples will work just fine. The magazine will hold a full strip of 210 staples. There is also a sliding anvil that will allow you to change between permanent and pin clinches. And of course you can use the Aceliner as a tacker by rotating the base 180 degrees.

1958 Lancaster_Eagle_Gazette_ad wm sm

1958 newspaper ad

1968 Latrobe Bulletin ad wm sm

1968 newspaper ad

One of the questions that often comes up in regards to the Aceliner is how to load it. The Aceliner is a rear-loading machine. To load, simply pull very slightly up and then out on the rear push-rod head. The head is the part on the rear that is a chrome round ring surrounding a colored plastic disc. Pull the rod all the way to the end and then swing it upwards. You can then insert your staples. Very easy once you do it once or twice. There is a button on each side of the body that when depressed allows you to lift the handle as you would with a standard stapler. However, you cannot load staples this way. The purpose of this feature is to allow access to the inside in order to clear jams or fix any issues that come up with the internal mechanism.

1975 Stevens_Point_Journal_ad wm sm

1975 newspaper ad

1981 The_Palm_Beach_Post_ad wm sm

1981 newspaper ad

The Aceliner was advertised starting in 1941 through at least 1992. These were still being manufactured in 2001 and into the 2000’s but there is very little information about this.  In total there were four plus known versions of the Aceliner. You can determine which version you have by using the following information:

  • Version 1 (1941 – 1961) rounded smooth top, front of body is blank, has three patents listed on bottom of base plus “OTHERS PEND”

Aceliner v1 comparison wm sm

  • Version 2 (1962 – 1971) rounded smooth top, “ACE” etched into front body, has four patents listed on bottom of base plus “OTHERS PEND”

Aceliner v2 comparrison wm sm

  • Version 3 (1971 – 1992) scalloped top with rectangular inset with aceliner logo wm in script molded into it. “ACE” etched into front body.  Along with this, later models of this version will state “USE ONLY ACE NO. 20253 STAPLES”.

Aceliner v3 comparison wm sm

  • Version 4 (approximately 2000’s) same styling as v3 but weighs slightly less at about 1 pound

I’ve also composed the following chart showing which handle colors are known to have been available in which years [note 3].

color chart

Chart Notes:

a) the color names used in 1941 were how they were originally listed by Ace. By 1945 all colors were identified by one word descriptions.

b) year gaps simply signify that I could find no advertisements, catalog listings, official Ace literature, etc. that mentioned available colors.

c) color gaps signify only that no reference could be found to that color in any literature, etc. for that year. In other words, it’s not only possible, but likely, that in 1949 you could purchase an Aceliner with a mahogany, green, or black handle. But nothing official has yet been seen to corroborate this. However, you probably wouldn’t have seen a grey handled Aceliner until 1961.

1992 Telegraph_Forum_ad wm sm

1992 newspaper ad

Aceliner Box v1 wm sm

circa 1941 box

Aceliner Box 1970s wm sm

box from 1974-1981

Aceliner Box of Staples 1940s wm sm

box of Aceliner 2025 staples from 1940’s

Aceliner Box of Staples 1960s noprice wm sm

box of Aceliner 2025 staples from 1960’s

UPDATE:  In August 2021 I published my newest book Staplers, Stapling Machines, & Paper Fasteners Volume 3: Ace Fastener.  In this book you’ll find a greatly updated write-up on the history of the model 502 Aceliner which includes info on all NINE versions of this stapler!

Patent and Other Information:

Notes:

  1. The correct spelling for the no 502 is “Aceliner” not “Ace Liner”. This two-word version probably came about due to the inscription on the bottom of the staplers. ACE was placed above LINER but that was simply due to space limitations.
  2. Even back in the earlier 20th century there were different types of plastic. It’s something of a pet peeve of mine when someone says that old plastic is “bakelite” simply because its old. It seldom is. You especially see this on online auction sites.  It has pretty much the same standing meaning-wise as words such as “rare”, “antique”, “vintage”, and “art deco”.  All these terms along with “bakelite” are essentially meaningless on auction sites.
  3. This chart was compiled using advertisements from periodicals, newspapers, office supply catalog listings, government records, and from official Ace Fastener Corp. marketing materials.
  4. Ace Fastener Corp., (1941, June), advertisement. Geyer’s Topics, page 41
  5. Utility Supply Co Catalog (1945), Chicago, IL, page 383
  6. Paulin’s Inc., (1958, March 28), advertisement. The Latrobe Bulletin, page 9
  7. Ace Fastener Corp. (1962), Ace Staple Selector [brochure], Chicago, IL, Ace Fastener Corp.
  8. Ace Fastener Corp. (1963), Ace World’s Finest Stapling Machines and Staples… [brochure], Chicago, IL, Ace Fastener Corp.
  9. Turner Office Equipment, (1968, February 29), advertisement. The Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, page 17
  10. Shirley Office Supply Catalog (1975), Pennsauken, NJ, page 199
  11. Emmons, (1975, July 16), advertisement. Stevens Point Daily Journal, page 18
  12. Halsey & Griffith, (1981, January 27), advertisement. The Palm Beach Post, page A5
  13. Office of the Federal Register, National Archives and Records Service, (1982, October 12), Appendix A Price List ACE. The Federal Register, page 1067 (45994)
  14. Beaver Office Products, (1992, December 3), advertisement. The Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, page 8

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  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
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Bostitch Model B8HC Heavy Duty Vintage-Style Stapler

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bostitch b8hc right side wm sm

Bostitch has recently introduced a stapler form factor that went extinct in the 1980’s.  And this thing looks fantastic!  This style of fastener was first seen in the 1930’s as a reflection of the art deco styled automobiles that took hold of the popular imagination of the time.  Suddenly everything was streamlined, including your stapler.  And now you have a new opportunity to add something stylish and retro-modern to your desk.

This is actually quite refreshing to see as there is nothing else quite like it on the market.  Sure, I’ve seen others release vintage style staplers but they are usually just offering the same product in different colors.  There are some novelty staplers out there but there is a limited market for staplers that look like shoes or skulls.  This stapler is the literal embodiment of the saying “everything old is new again”.

bostitch b8hc left side wm sm

left side

The B8HC weighs one pound empty and measures 7.25 inches long by 2.128 inches wide by 4.25 inches high.  It uses Bostitch B8 PowerCrown staples and holds 210 in the magazine.  As a heavy-duty stapler it is rated to fasten up to 50 sheets of paper.  The B8HC is made almost entirely of steel except for the plastic magazine latch and the rubber base and plunger handle cover.  You can get this stapler in any color you want so long as its black.

This is a front-loading fastener which may be a bit confusing if you haven’t seen it before.  But all you need to do is push the magazine release and the magazine will pop right out.  Place your staples inside and push the magazine back in.  That’s it!

The PowerCrown staples come in two different leg lengths, 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch.  The 1/4 inch staples will allow you to fasten about 30 pages but you’ll need the 3/8 for larger stacks of paper.

Bostitch PowerCrown B8 Staples wm sm

Bostitch B8 PowerCrown staples

I performed some testing loaded with the 1/4 inch PowerCrown staples.  The stapling mechanism works smoothly and with authority.  The ears (the chromed part on the rear connecting the base to the body) might get in the way when tacking as they don’t allow you to place the fastener flat against the wall.  That being said the angle is only 10 degrees so for the vast majority of your tacking needs it will likely be fine.  I was able to fasten 30 sheets of paper with the 1/4 inch staples, but just barely.  That is not a negative criticism as most desk staplers will max out at 20.  I’m confident it will easily fasten 50 pages with the longer leg staples.

staple comparison wm sm

staple comparison

I do have one or two concerns.  For one, while the plunger handle is steel it is attached to a comparatively thin plunger column and I fear that over time it might not stand up to regular use as a heavy-duty stapler.  I can see the possibility of hitting the handle off center (maybe the extreme front or extreme rear) and bending or even snapping the handle off.  If you use it more as a standard desktop stapler I think it will stand up fine.  But I’ve managed offices for a number of decades and can tell you that heavy-duty staplers are generally not treated gently at all.

The second isn’t a concern so much as being a bit picky.  But the plunger handle is flat.  I would have expected this to have some contour or roundness to it much like the fasteners in this style had back in the day.  It would have been both more ergonomic and more in keeping with the art deco styling.

If Bostitch keeps this model in its stable of fasteners (and they should as it’s a winner) I hope that they will consider adding an all-chrome model and maybe some colored-body models on the idea of the 1960’s era Ace Scouts.  A copper colored/plated version of this stapler would be sharp!  And for crying out loud raise the price a buck or two and correct the plunger!

bostitch b8hc diagram wm sm

diagram

You can find the B8HC Heavy Duty Vintage Style fastener for sale on the Bostitch website at https://bostitchoffice.com/vintage-style-stapler-black.html.  It is really a great price and a great stapler which will fill all your standard and heavy duty stapling needs.  You can find all of their other great offerings by going to https://bostitchoffice.com/products/office-supplies.html.

bostitch b8hc in package wm sm

Bostitch B8HC Stapler in packaging

Visit me at http://www.facebook.com/americanstationer and let’s get all geeky about office supplies  🙂

If you enjoy the American Stationer consider purchasing one of my books at Amazon.

  1. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
  2. STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
  3. NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION

You’ll get one-of-a-kind references and information you won’t find anywhere else and you’ll help me keep American Stationer going.