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Tatum Buddy T-155 v1 wm sm

In the 1950s the Wilson-Jones Company decided to go all-in on the stapler market by introducing a number of generally low cost fasteners.  And while they had some success in doing this probably their most successful stapler was the Tatum Buddy.

First advertised in 1953, the original Buddy stapler was a low cost, no frills, stapler that provided good value.  It was solid enough for regular office use yet inexpensive enough to purchase for home use.  The design, although patented, could best be described as basic.  But that’s ok as that is exactly what this is, a basic stapler.

1954 San Francisco Examiner Ad wm sm

1954 newspaper ad

The Buddy is an all steel half-strip stapler that uses standard size staples.  One of the ways it originally saved manufacturing costs was by not having an anvil.  The anvil is generally a chrome-plated or polished steel plate fastened to the front of a stapler and which has grooves to fold the staple legs when you press down on the handle.  What the Buddy has instead is simply two indents molded onto the base thereby using the base itself as the anvil.  When you look at one of these today you will notice that in every one there will be scratches and paint loss in this area of the base due to this.

This was first advertised in 1953 and available at least until 1964.  In 1969 the Buddy was again being advertised although now it was being sold by Ace Fastener.  Ace Fastener advertised the Buddy until 1976,  When introduced this was available in gold, green, grey, gunmetal (dark grey), red, yellow, and beige.  However, while the body was generally chrome-plated this was also available in gold-plate.  Gold plate was an odd choice for such a basic stapler.

1956 Press Democrat Ad wm sm

1956 newspaper ad

There were three total variants for the Buddy.  While the differences between v1 and v2 are readily noted, the difference between v2 and v3 is simply the inscription on the side.  The following shows what to look for.

Tatum Buddy T-155 v1 side wm sm

version 1

  • length: 5 inches
  • width: 1.4 inches
  • height: 1.9 inches
  • weight: 6 oz
  • anvil: no
  • side inscription: Tatum
  • patents listed: 1

Tatum Buddy T-155 v2 side wm sm

version 2

  • length: 3.8125 inches
  • width: 1.8 inches
  • height: 2 inches
  • weight: 7.5 oz
  • anvil: yes
  • side inscription: Tatum Buddy
  • patents listed: 2

Tatum Buddy T-155 v3 side wm sm

version 3

  • length: 3.8125 inches
  • width: 1.8 inches
  • height: 2 inches
  • weight: 7.5 oz
  • anvil: yes
  • side inscription: Buddy
  • patents listed: 2

The Buddy Stapler produced by Ace Fastener is identical to version 3 with the only difference being that “ACE FASTENER CO” is inscribed on the bottom of the base instead of Wilson-Jones and the model number was now No 155 instead of No T-155.

1958 Sheboygan Press Ad wm sm

1958 newspaper ad

1960 Sheboygan Press Ad wm sm

1960 newspaper ad

1964 Missouri Herald Ad wm sm

1964 newspaper ad

While Wilson-Jones officially became a company in October of 1913, it’s history starts long before that.  The Chicago Shipping & Receipt Book Co was founded in 1896 in Chicago, IL and in 1899 Ralph B. Wilson took over control of the company.

By all accounts Ralph Wilson was a formidable individual.  Oddly however, he began his adult life working for the circus hanging leaflets and other such work.  But by the age of 29 he had become a business owner.

Ralph B Wilson wm sm

IMPORTANT DATES IN WILSON-JONES HISTORY

  • Chicago Shipping & Receipt Book Co founded in 1896
  • Ralph Wilson took over the Chicago Shipping & Receipt Book Co in 1899
  • Jones Improved Loose Leaf Specialty Co founded by Harvey T. Jones in 1899
  • In October 1913 Chicago Shipping & Receipt Book Co purchased the Jones Loose Leaf Specialty Co and changed names to Wilson-Jones Loose Leaf Co with Ralph Wilson as President and Treasurer
  • Wilson-Jones accepts Swingline’s offer to purchase stock in the company in 1958
  • Swingline gained full ownership of Wilson-Jones in 1963
  • In 1986 American Brands acquires ACCO
  • In 1987 American Brands merged ACCO with Swingline
  • Wilson-Jones is currently part of ACCO Brands
Tatum Buddy T-155 v3 box wm sm

version 3 box

Tatum Staples T501 box wm sm

Patent and Other Information:

Notes:

  1. Editors, (1913, October), C.S. & R.B-Wilson Combine, The American Stationer, page 6
  2. Editors, (1913, October), Western Loose Leaf Firms Consolidate, Geyer’s Stationer, page 41
  3. Wilson-Jones Loose Leaf Co (1920, June), advertisement, Office Appliances, page 75
  4. Editors, (1920, October), Wilson-Jones Company Reorganize, Office Appliances, page 28
  5. Crown Drug Stores, (1953, August 27), advertisement, The Leavenworth Times, page 17
  6. Sears, Roebuck & Co, (1954, January 3), advertisement, San Francisco Examiner, page 26
  7. Corrick’s, (1956, June 17), advertisement. Press Democrat, page 5A
  8. Weaver’s, (1958, February 3), advertisement. The Sheboygan Press, page 13
  9. Weaver’s, (1960, July 25), advertisement, The Sheboygan Press, page 3
  10. The Missouri Herald, (1964, April 2), advertisement, The Missouri Herald, page 4
  11. McDonald, Stingel and Bush Office Supply Catalog, (1964), Saginaw, MI, page 355

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