Long Live the Staple

Have you ever been late for work on a Monday morning, breezed in as if nothing is wrong and the boss has stapled your head to the desk instead of cutting you salary for the day?

No? Well, you are probably one of the lucky office types who have a decent boss, who is level headed and not a trainee psychopath. Bosses like this are as rare as rocking horse pooh, cherish them; they are a dying breed in this world of cutthroat business.

Talking of stapling a head to the desk, I can think of a few politicians and celebrities it would not hurt to do this to, no sense and no feeling springs to mind. Especially those who are only famous for dating a famous actor or singer.

Anyway, I digress. While we're on the subject of staples, can you imagine life in the office without them? Those tiny little arches of metal, sharp as rapier swords, able to pierce the skin between a nail and a finger with deft precision, are indispensable when it comes to keeping sheets of paper together. The person credited with inventing this little gem is Henry Hale, of Philadelphia, USA in when he applied for a patent in 1877. Small in size, giant in stature, these little items have been a staple (sorry, bad joke) in the modern office, in one form or another since then.

In eighteen ninety seven a stapling machine was patented, and this design which was for pressing in straight pins, changed little until the 1940's when the forerunner of the little machine we know and love today appeared.

Staples are also used in surgery, but differ to the ones used in the office, and are not attached to a patients wound with a stapling machine. They differ in shape too, but the principal is the same in this case not paper, but skin, is held together.

In this paperless society we are told so much about, the staple and the paper clip will become obsolete, along with the paper which is not being used. From the authors' viewpoint, never has so much paper been used by so many people in so many walks of life. At least for the foreseeable future, the route to the paperless office seems to be a long and difficult road.

For the time being, long live the paper filled office. Long live the staple.