Who Invented the Paperclip?

Samuel B. Fay secured the first patent for a paperclip in 1867. Erlman J. Wright won a patent for a different design in 1877. The first appearance of the recognizable Gem style was in 1892 and was never patented.

Designed for attaching tickets to fabric, Fay's patent acknowledged that the clip could bind paper together. According to the Early Office Museum, Cushman & Denison introduced the Gem paperclip in 1892, officially trademarking it in 1904. The paperclip ushered out the used of pins, eyelets and sewing to bind paper. Further designs tried to improve on the Gem design; only the addition of serrations made any lasting impression.