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hotchkiss h-30 sm wm

Starting in the mid 1930’s there were a number of art deco influenced staplers introduced. Chief among these, and in my opinion one of the most striking, is the Neva Clog D-30 and it’s sibling the D-40. But Hotchkiss took up the challenge of the D-30’s success and in about 1937 introduced the H-30.

Both staplers followed art deco design aesthetics. While the NC D-30 was all sharp angles, straight lines and a monochrome silver color the Hotchkiss H-30 was all sweeping curves and bright contrasting colors. There was one difference, however, that truly separated these two fasteners and that difference was success. The NC D-30 was a well-made and beautifully designed stapler that sold well and was available for over 10 years after its introduction. The Hotchkiss H-30, on the other hand, was poorly made and had a surprisingly awkward design and used difficult to find and absurdly tiny staples.

The H-30 measured 5.5″ L x 1.5″ W x 2″ H and weighs 8 ounces empty. It uses 6/4 staples that are smaller than the ones Hotchkiss used for the model 52 and 54 plier staplers. The 6/4 staples are about 2/3 the size of number 10 “tot” staples as a comparison. The H-30 was made of 100% steel with a chrome-plated operating lever and staple housing. The body was finished in a red crackle paint while the top of the base was in black crackle. I have not seen any other color combinations for this model.

hotchkiss h-30 bottom sm wm

bottom of base

The H-30 was covered under patent 2139342 which was filed on July 31, 1937 and granted in December 6, 1938. The patent illustration shows the model H-31 but the patent specifies that “With the foregoing and other objects in view I have devised a novel construction; an embodiment of which is shown in the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. It is, however, to be understood that various modifications and changes may be made in the device within the scope of the invention and it is not necessary to limit the device to the specific details shown.” The mechanics of the H-30 are identical to those of its sibling, the model H-31 (which also wasn’t particularly successful). As you can see in the second picture the bottom of the H-30 states patent pending meaning that the model in my collection was probably made in 1937 or 1938. It’s my opinion that based on the limited availability of this model coupled with its many shortcomings that it wouldn’t have been available after 1938.

Want to know more about Hotchkiss fasteners and history?  Purchase Staplers, Stapling Machines, & Paper Fasteners Volume 1: Illustrating and Documenting the Hotchkiss Line of Office and Industrial Stapling Machines by American Stationer and available on Amazon.

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