Here we have something of an odd multifunction stapler, the Regal No. 35. Regal staplers were sold in the U.S. by Bostitch but had the Regal name stamped on them instead of Bostitch – although the packaging was clearly labeled as Bostitch. There were four different office-use staplers available (there were tackers and electric staplers branded as Regal and sold by Bostitch also). These were the Model 15, the Model 25, the Model 35, and the Model 45. Of these four, the models 15, 25 and 45 were made in much greater numbers and are fairly common even today. The Model 35 is a much rarer stapler. I’m surprised by this fact as this is a very cool and practical stapler.
This model measures 5″L x 1″W x 1.75″H and weighs 5.5 ounces. It is made of polished steel with no plastic parts at all unlike its siblings. And it uses standard staples. As you can see from the picture it is clearly marked in sans serif lettering REGAL No. 35. On the bottom of the plate it is inscribedMADE IN JAPAN FOR BOSTITCH INC. PATENTS 108314 424084 428085 428245 428246
If you look up the above patent numbers you’ll see that they are for what appears to be random items. Furthermore, the numbers are only 6 digits long which if they are U.S. utility patents puts them in the late 19th century or mid 20th if they are design patents. As this model was manufactured in Japan these are almost definitely Japanese patent numbers.
I’ve commented before on multi-tools and their tendency to have a lot of trade-offs in usability. But the model 35 is actually easy to use as both a stapler and remover. It is well-balanced either way and in actuality the stapler body can add leverage for more difficult to remove staples.
The earliest advertisement I can find for the Model 35 is from 1964 and the latest is from 1969 so we know this fastener was available during these years. However, the rarity of this fastener would imply that it was unlikely available beyond 1969. Regal models as a whole were available from 1964 until at least 1988 though.
Having the Regal staplers manufactured in Japan was almost definitely a cost-cutting move by Bostitch. Japan in the 1960’s through the 1980’s had the reputation in the U.S. that China has today. Everything they made was basically cheap junk. However, the Regals were surprisingly well-made which is one of the reasons they were available for so long. And out of all the models the highest-quality one was probably the Model 35.
While Bostitch didn’t sell this model for very long it didn’t just disappear into the sunset. Identical staplers, again made in Japan, were sold some years later under different company names.
- Shelburne’s Stationers (1964, April 16), advertisement, The Fresno Bee, page 8A
- Whitehorse Star (1968, October 31), advertisement, The Whitehorse Star, page 18
- Whitehorse Star (1969, January 20), advertisement, The Whitehorse Star, page 14