Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. Check out his post and join in the creativity!Sunday Scribblings #107 – Paperclip
At first blush there isn’t too much to say about paperclips. I don’t use them anymore. I barely use paper anymore. Several years ago I went paperless and I’ve enjoyed the lack of clutter from the move. I’m guessing there are still some paperclips around the house. Certainly some of the bigger varieties that can double as closures for chip bags and such. The traditional “gem” version of the paperclip made by a simple bent wire is exceptionally good at holding several leafs of paper, but I’m trying to think of any other reasons to have them around now? I guess the little slot door on the SIM card holder for the iPhone still needs a paperclip to open. What was a smart design at one point due to the ubiquitous presence of paperclips has become a bit inconvenient. They are now providing special “push pins” with the SIM cards to overcome this issue, but I assume this design will be replaced soon.
Regardless of the lack of utility of the paperclip in my modern life, I can still appreciate the simple functionality of the original invention. Just a bit of bending transformed a small segment of wire into a perfect problem solver for over a century. I think of the times when I needed a paperclip and didn’t have one back when I was in school. I had to revert to folding over the corner of my papers and create a small tear tab to hold them together. It was a sad replacement of the sturdy and dependable paperclip. The last resort when handing in school papers as I was always worried my pages would be separated and I’d lose credit for work done.
I guess the major competition for the paperclip were staples. But staples required installation equipment (the stapler) and removal tools (the staple remover). Certainly the staple had the edge for a permanent binding, but how annoying was it to deal with all the staples when needing to copy documents? They even used to have staple removers attached to the paper copier machines. The paperclip was certainly a much more elegant solution and ideal for impermanent binding.
Look at that. I ended up writing a whole thesis on the paperclip. Life continues to offer up surprises.
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