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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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  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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