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Probably the most defining characteristic of any Acme stapler is how well-built it is.  I would wager that most of the Acme staplers ever made are probably still around.  And I believe the reason the early models may not get much use any more is entirely due to how difficult it is to find staples that can be used in these models.  They really are just that well-made.

The Acme No 2 Staple Binder is no exception.  The No 2 was made from nickel-plated cast iron and steel.  It was purposely built with fewer parts for simplicity and designed to be easy to fix and maintain.  It measures 11.25″ L x 2.188″ W x 7.5″ H and weighs 3.5 lbs.

This fastener was especially adapted for office work, at least according to all the advertisements.  However, it would have been just as much at home in a commercial or even industrial setting.

1908 ad from industry magazine

This was introduced in 1908 and the last known reference I know of is from 1946.  It used a proprietary size staple with a 7/16 size crown.  I have not found a modern equivalent that will fit in this stapler.

original type staples for Acme No 2

newer type magazine staples for Acme No 2

There were two different “versions” of  the No 2.  Essentially there is an “older” version 1 and a “newer” version 2.  The older version would have used the original type staples while later models of version 1 and all models of version 2 would have been designed to use the newer type staples (see figures above).  It should be noted that there was just one or two extremely minor differences between the models the main one being the cap thumb screw shown in the figure below.  The other noticeable difference being the outside end of the staple push rod.

highlighted is what to look for on the older version

When you hear folks say “they don’t make ’em like they used to” this is what they’re talking about.  The Acme No 2 is well-made, highly decorative, and perfectly designed for its function.  It’s no wonder why they were manufactured for 40 years.

Patent and Other Information:


  1. Editors (1908),Novelties for the Trade Acme Binder No. 2, The American Stationer, page 14
  2. Acme Staple Co. (1912, January), advertisement, Walden’s Stationer and Printer, page 35
  3. Burnap Stationery and Printing Co Catalog (1915), Kansas City, MO, page 111
  4. Acme Staple Co. (1922, October), advertisement, Geyer’s Stationer, page 59
  5. Out West Catalog (1922), Colorado Springs, CO, page 76
  6. McClurg’s Catalog (1935-1936), Chicago, IL, page 181
  7. Utility Supply Co. Catalog (1940), Chicago, IL, page 330
  8. Utility Supply Co. Catalog (1946), Chicago, IL, page 390

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