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Office stationery isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of topics for interesting facts. However, it is often the seemingly simple things in life we take for granted that have the most interesting stories behind them – including our everyday office products.
- Did you know… that before the invention of the rubber eraser, people used breadcrumbs or crusts of bread for this purpose. The inventor of the eraser accidentally picked up a piece of rubber instead of the bread and discovered that it could easily remove pencil markings!
- Did you know… that the Egyptians most likely invented scissors in approximately 1500BC. The earliest known examples of scissors appeared in Mesopotamia 3,000 to 4,000 years ago.
- Did you know… that production of the paperclip dates back to the late 19th century when the first machines were developed to bend and cut steel wire. The function of the paperclip is based on the principal of elasticity, as articulated by the British physicist Robert Hooke as early as 1678.
- Did you know… that calculators were invented in the beginning of the early 17th century. The first commercially successful machine was the arithmometer, made by Charles Xavier Thomas de Colmar in 1851.
- Did you know… that the pencil is the oldest writing instrument. Its origins date back to the 16th century, when a graphite deposit was discovered in northern England.
- Did you know… that paper was invented in China by 105AD during the Han Dynasty and spread slowly to the West via Samarkand and Baghdad. Paper making and manufacturing in Europe began in the 10th century in Spain and Sicily before spreading to Italy and southern France before reaching Germany by 1400.
- Did you know… that in the 1900’s, the modern legal pad evolved when a judge requested a margin be drawn on the left side of his paper. This went on to become the first legal pad.
- Did you know… that the ring binder mechanism invented by Louis Leitz in 1896 has seen little change to the original design and retains its importance in the workplace.
- Did you know… that the printing press was invented in the Holy Roman Empire by the German Johannes Gutenberg around 1440, based on existing screw presses. Gutenberg, a goldsmith by profession, developed a printing system by adapting existing technology.
- Did you know… that in 1845 Edwin Hill and Warren de la Rue were granted a British patent for the first envelope making machine. Nearly 50 years passed before a commercially successful machine appeared, producing pre-gummed envelopes as we know today.
- Did you know…that The first known stapler was handmade in the 18th century in France for King Louis XV. Each staple was inscribed with the insignia of the royal court, as required.
- Did you know… that in the early 1930’s, entrepreneur R. Stanton Avery manufactured the world’s first self-adhesive labels and made it into the successful business we know today.
Do you know any more interesting facts about the office supplies and products you buy from OfficeTeam? If so, let us know in the comments.