I’ve always found it interesting that we use certain devices daily, yet know hardly anything about it’s history. Well, here’s some interesting information about the history of the stapler.
The earliest records involving staples were attributed to King Louis XV of France during the 18th century. Although there aren’t records specifically regarding a stapler device, this was the first recorded use of a staple. Each staple for King Louis XV bore the inscription of the royal court as required by the King.
As the use of paper expanded in the 19th century, it lead to a need for some sort of paper fastening device. The first documented record of a paper fastening device occurred in 1841, when inventor Samuel Slocum applied for a patent on a device that stuck pins into paper in order to fasten them together. Historians argue about giving Slocum credit for the modern day staple as his device was really designed to fasten large quantities of papers together in more of a commercial intent as Slocum made his living selling the pins that fit into the device.
Most historians credit American, George McGill, as the father of the modern day staple. In 1866, McGill applied for and received a U.S. patent for a flexible brass paper fastener. In 1867, McGill applied for and received his second patent for a special press that inserted the fastener into paper.
European historians argue that that first true staple and stapler was designed and patented in England by British inventor C.H.Gould, although not a great deal is known about the device.
In 1877, American Henry R. Heyl filed a patent on the first device that would both insert and clinch a staple in one step. Based on this design, many consider him the true inventor of the stapler in the form that we know it today.