Paper Clip Day
(Also known as National Paper Clip Day, National Paperclip Day, Paperclip Day)
Paper Clip Day is observed next on Monday, May 29th, 2023 (177 days from today).
Paper Clip Day celebrates a small but handy invention, paper clip.
Did you just roll your eyes at the idea that a little bent piece of metal called a paperclip should have its own holiday? Have you ever worked in an office? If not, we might know how you might not get it and that's okay, we're going to explain everything to you soon. But if it does, you know exactly where we're going and don't worry, we've got some cool news for you, too. So let's start with Paper Clip Day on May 29th each year, shall we?
History of Paper Clip Day
Did you know that there is some controversy as to who invented the original paperclip design, which is used to this day? We all love a fun argument, and who would have thought it was over a small, seemingly insignificant piece of stationery.
The first patent for a paper clip was received by Samuel B. Fay in 1967, in the United States, the original purpose of which was to use it to attach tickets to fabric. However, its use for holding the paper together quickly became apparent. Since then, 50 other people have also received patents for their versions of the paperclip, most notably Earlman J. Wright in 1877 and later Johan Vaaler in 1901. The 'Gem Clip' design ' of the paperclip is what we recognize today, even though the name may be unfamiliar. This watch was mass-produced by the Gems-Manufacturing Company in England in the early 1870s but was never patented, although it is the most common design in use to this day. Only in 1904, Cushman & Denison trademarked the 'Gem clip'.
However, going back to the controversy, our story can be traced back to the German occupation of Norway (from 1940 to 1945), during the Second World War. Due to Johan Vaaler's paperclip design, it was (and still is) mistakenly believed in his home country of Norway that he was the inventor of the paperclip. So in 1940, during the German occupation of Norway, students from the University of Oslo began wearing paper clips as a nonviolent symbol of protest, solidarity and national pride. The logic behind choosing a paperclip is because it 'binds everything together', so it makes sense to use it as a symbol of unity. 2015 was the start of Paper Clip Day, and it has been celebrated every year since.
Some interesting truths about Paperclip
While many may have claimed the paperclip's earlier invention, according to the Museum of the Original Office, Samuel B. Fay received the first patent for a "bend wire paperclip" in the United States in 1867. The original purpose of Fay's clip was to attach tickets to fabric. However, US patent 64,088 recognized that paper clips could also hold papers together.
As many as 50 others had received patents for similar designs prior to 1899. Another notable name who received a patent for his paperclip design in the United States was Erlman J. Wright in 1877. At that time, he advertised his clip for use in the newspapers.
The Gem Paperclip, most likely made in England in the early 1870s by The Gem Manufacturing Company, was never patented. This is the most common type of paperclip and is still used today. It was introduced to the United States around 1892, and in 1904, Cushman & Denison trademarked the name "Gem" in reference to cardboard. In some cases, paperclips are called as gem clips.
Today, cardboard comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors and can make your papers look more fun and vibrant.
Paperclips aren't just for holding papers together. There are many different ways you can do with them!
- Replace a zipper tab
- Open the spray bottle
- Unsubscribe to a one-time coffee maker
- Keeper of Hem
- Emergency hook for broken chain
The Paper Clip Project
During World War II, this small, general-purpose office provided a method of visual protest when any outside sign of protest could be dangerous, even in a familiar company.
Early in the war, the Norwegians were particularly persistent in developing their symbols. Paperclips symbolized "sticking together" until the Nazis caught and banned paper clips.
According to a March 5th, 1941 article, Provo, Utah (The Daily Herald), Norwegians quickly switched to the new symbol when a ban could be enacted.
In 1998, a group of high school students led by literature teacher Sandra Roberts and vice Principal David Smith began a project through a Holocaust education class. The idea of Principal Linda Hooper, Principal of Whitwell High School, and the volunteer after-school classroom will be the foundation for developing tolerance and diversity.
Inspired by the stories of the Norwegian protestors and their cardboard sheets, the students began collecting six million sheets of cardboard - a paperclip representing a dead Jew in the Holocaust. Adults today still grapple with how the Holocaust was even possible. Imagine middle school students trying to understand the importance of such an event to humanity.
The Paperclip Project gained international attention, and by 2001, students had collected more than 30 million sheets of cardboard. The school has dedicated a Children's Holocaust Memorial, which displays an orthodox German train with a cardboard section.
Some reasons for Paper Clip Day being loved
- Paperclip carries a historical legacy
The forever paperclip has a place in history as a powerful symbol of resistance to oppression, just as it did in Norway during the German occupation during the Second World War. So it can be revived as a powerful symbol, relevant to any struggle where a group of people is being oppressed, and can be used to publicize it.
- Paper clips are very flexible
Now you know that the uses of cardboard are varied. Every Paper Clip Day celebration comes with some new paperclip hacks. We hope it inspires you to be creative and come up with your own ideas.
- Paperclips unite us
Paperclips as a stationery item have been designed to literally hold things together. And now it is a worldwide flagship office. Do you find it interesting to think about the multiculturalism and widespread use of this little item? Therefore, we could not think of a better mascot to represent unity on many fronts.
How to celebrate Paper Clip Day
- Watch the movie Paper Clip
Released in 2004, this American documentary follows the beginning story of the Paperclip Project, which began as a project at Whitwell High School, Tennessee to raise awareness of 6 million human lives. Israel was lost during the Holocaust. By 2001, it was internationally recognized. Find out how by showing this powerful story!
- Read on cardboard
Read the fascinating story of how Kyle MacDonald bought a house by exchanging a red paper clip for a fish-shaped pen. His two-story home in Saskatchewan has earned both him and the internationally famous red paperclip. That's inspiration!
- Create something special
Spark your creativity and create some art using cardboard. The sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do with these little guys, especially since they come in all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes these days. Hint - Pinterest and YouTube can give you a small start.
ObservedPaper Clip Day has been observed annually on May 29th.
Saturday, May 29th, 2021
Sunday, May 29th, 2022
Monday, May 29th, 2023
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
Thursday, May 29th, 2025