We have already talked about how our everyday stationery, although perhaps a little dull on the outside, can often harbour a rather interesting snippet of information when you delve a little deeper. If you missed it, check out our 12 interesting facts you never knew about stationery.
But we aren’t finished yet! We’ve compiled some more interesting facts about stationery that we think are guaranteed to make you all warm and fuzzy on the inside!
Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day really does exist
You certainly aren’t alone if the activity of popping bubblewrap feels you with calm and relaxing thoughts. Invented by accident in late 1950s America, bubble wrap is almost more famous for the zen-like effect rather than its obvious use for packing fragile items. The last Monday in January is supposedly Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day – definitely something we think is worth celebrating! If you need a bubble wrap fix with you always, Japanese company Bandai has an electronic bubble wrap popping device called Puchi Puchi that fits on your keyring and provides infinite popping satisfaction!
The word “Stationery” comes from Latin
It’s one of those words that often gets spelled incorrectly, but both stationery and stationary come from the same Latin word stationarius. This medieval Latin word was used to describe a trader who had his own station, or shop, rather than work as a travelling salesman. Over time, it began to mean a bookseller or publisher and these days we use it for our pens, pencils and other office supplies. The spelling difference ending with -ery became the noun use of the adjective stationary.
Some of the earliest printing dates back to 220AD in China
The earliest evidence of printing goes back nearly 1,800 years, where woodblock printing was used as an effective method for distributing text, images and patterns. This was one of the main techniques of printing all over the world until the invention of the printing press in 15th Century in Europe.
Foolscap paper really was named after a court jester fool’s cap
Foolscap is a paper size (216mm x 343mm) that was commonly used in the UK until the adoption of ISO standards – commonly known as A4, A3, A2 etc. Foolscap is still used in traditional circles, especially the legal and professional industry (the same way barristers still wear wigs and other traditional court dress). The name foolscap was given to paper in the 15th Century when a German paper makers used a fool’s cap watermark on paper of these dimensions.
Post-it notes were developed by accident
Like many of the greatest inventions, post-it notes were created accidentally in the late 1960s when employees at 3M were trying to develop a super strong glue. They ended up with a very low tack adhesive that was ideal for using in memo notes and page markers as it leaves no residue. These days, you can’t even imagine an office without a few piles of post-it notes sitting around near a phone!
Using just Sellotape, you can make your own desktop light show using triboluminescence
Triboluminescence is a rather nifty phenomenon where light is generated during a breakage of chemical bonds in materials when they are subjected to forces such as being pulled apart, ripped or crushed. The effect can be seen as flashes of blue light when peeling sellotape or other adhesive tape in a darkened area. It’s a very cool effect, but requires a certain amount of darkness to see it well. Check out this video below of triboluminescence in action (start watching from 17 seconds to see the tape effect):
George W. Bush refused to use anything else other than his personal Sharpie pen!
Did you know that former US President George W. Bush loved Sharpie pens so much, he even had his own custom made ones with the White House seal and his own signature embossed on the side! If you worked in the White House as an important presidential aide during Bush junior’s term, you could have received a goody bag with a signed golf ball, baseball, cuff links, tie clip and of course, your very own presidential Sharpie pen – good times!