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Bates 88P Handi-Grip Stapler wm sm

If I looked up the definition of “practicality” I wouldn’t be surprised to see a picture of this fastener next to the definition.  It is perfectly designed for its purpose and the ergonomics make this workhorse easy and pleasant to use.  There are no unnecessary extras or unneeded design.  This 88P is all work and no play but that doesn’t make it dull.

The rounded handle along with the curved base make this easy to grip even in environments where your hands may be slippery.  It’s small size means this will fit in one hand without issue.  While it will only hold 105 staples at time, increasing that would mean that you would likely lose its other positive attributes.  There is also a metal tab with a hole that would allow you to hang up the stapler or attach it to a string or chain.  This tab wasn’t there for security reasons, what it did was allow you to attach this to a chain and mount it to a work area so that it wouldn’t be misplaced.

1969 Asheville Citizen Times Ad wm sm

1969 newspaper ad

Bates released this stapler in 1963 and it was last known to be available in 1990, although it is likely it was around longer.  By all accounts this was one of Bates’ most popular stapler offerings.  It was popular enough that in 1968 Swingline released the model 99P which is an almost identical clone of this model.  The icing on this copycat cake was that while Bates never patented the design of the 88P, Swingline did get a design patent in 1969 for the 99P.

The Bates model 88P is made of pressed steel and a hand grip consisting of a type of plastic known as tenite.  It weighs 6.4 ounces empty and measures 4.625 inches long by 4.75 inches high by 1 inch wide.  While the magazine and base were always in chrome, the body and handle were colored.  The 88P was available in beige, black, brown, grey, red, and yellow.

Bates 88P instructions wm sm

box insert

To load, you simply slide the side button forward and lift the handle.  Load your stapler and close the handle.  That’s all it takes!  It uses standard size staples so finding supplies is not a problem.  The Hand-Grip can also tack by swinging the base backwards by 180 degrees.

The 88P is a fantastic little stapler and are quite easy to find.  If you do procure one it is likely to still work just fine even after several decades of neglect.

1981 Abbeville Meridional Ad wm sm

1981 newspaper ad

 

1990 Reno Gazette Journal Ad wm sm

1990 newspaper ad

Bates 88P box image 2 wm sm

Bates 88P box image 3 wm sm

Bates 88P box image wm sm

Notes:

  1. Perry Office Supply Catalog (1963), Syracuse, NY, page 52
  2. Wosco, Inc Catalog (1963), Greensburg, PA, page 163
  3. McDonald, Stingel and Bush Office Supply Catalog, (1964), Saginaw, MI, page 357
  4. Arrow Office Supply Co Catalog (1969), Chicago, IL, page 189
  5. Hoyle Office Supply, (1969, September 30), advertisement. The Asheville Citizen-Times, page 21
  6. Reliable Stationery Co Catalog (1971), Chicago, IL, page 12
  7. Shirley Office Supply Co Catalog (1975), Pennsauken, NJ, page 201
  8. Piazza Office Supply, (1981, July 17), advertisement. Abbeville Meridional, page 2
  9. Fisher Hawaii, (1986, May 7), advertisement. The Honolulu Advertiser, page A-7
  10. Discount Office Supply, (1990, March 13), advertisement. Reno Gazette-Journal, page 5A

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