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.
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.
There are a number of small differences between the two versions. The following chart and figures highlight them.
|AREA||VERSION 1||VERSION 2|
|front||open from bottom to halfway up||totally open|
|anvil||taller than version 2, 10mm in height||shorter than version 1, 8mm in height|
|side||smooth with visual staple indicator hole||two rivets on bottom of plate with visual staple indicator hole|
|body bottom||part of body, three screws||smooth, no screws, middle portion made of separate plate|
|base markings||rectangular plaque with info||info cast directly into base|
|base bottom||front third solid to bottom of base||hollow with round hole towards rear and PATENT APPL’D FOR cast in|
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.
- A.A. Weeks, (1895, March), advertisement. The American Stationer, page 429
- Hoskins, (1895, November 17), advertisement. The Philadelphia Times, page 2
- Editors, (1896, January), Trade Items. The American Stationer, page 64
- Standard Publishing Co, (1897, November 22), advertisement. The Anaconda Standard, page 10
- Hoskins, (1898, March 7), advertisement, The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 2
- Hoskins, (1899, July 20), advertisement, The Philadelphia Times, page 2
- Hoskins, (1900, July 10), advertisement, The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 5
- Wm. H. Hoskins, (1901, April 12), advertisement, The Philadelphia Inquirer, page 15
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- STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 1 – E.H. HOTCHKISS COMPANY OFFICE AND INDUSTRIAL STAPLING MACHINES
- STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 2 – NEVA-CLOG
- NEVA-CLOG STAPLING MACHINES PRICE GUIDE: 2019 EDITION
- STAPLERS, STAPLING MACHINES, & PAPER FASTENERS VOL 3 – ACE FASTENER
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