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Paper Clip Day – May 29, 2023

Paper Clip Day is a fun holiday celebrated every year on May 29. It is a cool opportunity to show some appreciation for paper clips and their benefits. For years, paper clips have helped us hold sheets of paper together. Many important documents have impacted history that were bound by paper clips. They are quite common and can be found in most offices and schools. Pretty much anywhere paper is used, you’re likely to find some paper clips. The paper clip is useful stationery that is not going anywhere anytime soon.

History of Paper Clip Day

In 1867, Samuel B. Fay became the first person in the United States to receive a patent for a bent wire paper clip. It was originally designed to attach tickets to fabric. It was recognized by the patent that the design could also be used to attach papers together. That first design of the paper clip did not look like the one we have today. The design we are all familiar with was designed by a Norwegian inventor named Johan Vaaler.

The paper clip was used as a symbol of the Norwegian resistance to Nazi German occupation during World War II. Paper clips were worn in coat lapels by many people and the Nazis saw this demonstration of solidarity as a threat. Paper clips were eventually prohibited and people were threatened with severe punishment if they dared to wear them. In Sandvika, Norway, there is a large paper clip that reminds people of the role it played in the country’s history. The structure is over a meter wide and five meters tall.

Paper Clip Day was established in 2015. People get creative by using paper clips for alternative purposes. It is used to make art that can be displayed or worn on clothing as an accessory.

Paper Clip Day timeline

13th century
Ribbons

Ribbons are put through parallel incisions in the upper left corner of the papers.

1835
Straight Pins

John Ireland Howe invents the machine for mass-producing straight pins which temporarily fasten clothes and paper together.

1899
Paper Clip

A Norwegian inventor named Johan Vaaler invents the paper clip.

1901
Patent

Johan Vaaler receives an American patent for his design.

Paper Clip Day FAQs

Can paper clips pick locks?

Paper clips can be an effective lock-picking device.

Can paper clips open handcuffs?

Some types of handcuffs can be unfastened with paper clips.

What does a paper clip in an email mean?

The paper clip is the standard image for an attachment in an email.

Paper Clip Day Activities

  1. Get creative

    It’s a part of the holiday’s fun. Get your own creative way of using paper clips.

  2. Make fish hooks

    Paper clips can be used to make a fish hook. It is a safe alternative to use.

  3. Wear a paper clip

    You can wear a paper clip as an accessory on clothes as the Norwegian did. If not for any reason, just as a quirky accessory celebrating the day.

5 Facts About Paper Clips You Might Want To Know

  1. Lots of designs

    Many designs of the modern paper clip were invented between 1896 and the 1950s.

  2. Toothpicks

    Paper clips can also be used as toothpicks.

  3. Cleaning fingers

    Unfolded, they can be used to clean fingernails

  4. Cleaning ears

    Unfolded and covered in cotton wool, they can be used to clean ears.

  5. Fastening nylons

    They can also hold nylons together.

Why We Love Paper Clip Day

  1. It encourages creativity

    People can bend paper clips into different creative shapes. They can have a variety of alternative uses.

  2. Gratitude

    Even such small items we always forget about have so much history and significance. The holiday helps bring paper clips to people’s minds.

  3. It shows support

    Paper clips can be worn as a way to show support. They were worn during World War II to show support for Norwegians.

Paper Clip Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 29Monday
2024May 29Wednesday
2025May 29Thursday
2026May 29Friday
2027May 29Saturday

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