Ton S. started us off, followed by Miguel Chávez and Nick Beland. Have I left anyone out?
Anyway, I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and show you a couple of paper fasteners I enjoy.
First is an Aceliner stapler, model 502, made by Ace Fastener Co. of Chicago.
Ace Fastener was founded in 1952. The company is now based in Camden, NJ, and apparently still offers the Aceliner 502, although some online retailers say it is currently unavailable.
This model has been made for decades and has many devoted fans. I didn't know this when I found the stapler at my local St. Vinnie's. I bought it because of its good-looking industrial design with attractive marbled plastic. After extensive cleaning, it looks fabulous. And I'm also happy to report that it works like a charm -- strong, stable, and effective.
The front plate slides back and forth so the machine can be used either for conventional stapling, or for splayed stapling, which creates an easily removable staple (a bit like the straight pins that were sometimes used to fasten papers in the 19th century).
My other gadget bears the entertaining moniker Bump Paper Fastener.
I love the duck face on the Bump:
I learned about the Bump from Mark Frankena's presentation at Herman Price's typewriter collectors' meeting this October. Mark (who curates an online Early Office Museum) gave an excellent talk on the many ways to fasten papers (learn more by following the link to his site). The Bump is particularly fascinating because it uses no staples or pins. Instead, it cuts a tab in the paper, slices a slit, and tucks the tab through the slit, in a very quick and clever mechanical procedure.
We are coming up on the centennial of George P. Bump's July 21, 1914 patent for my handheld device.
There's also a version of the Bump that stands on the desk, with a big button on top that does the work. It was patented in 1910 and 1918.
Bump Paper Fasteners were popular for quite a few years, and can easily be found on eBay. Their limitation is that they work best with only 2-4 sheets of paper. Their advantages are that they don't need staples and they are great conversation starters.
I was amazed when a Japanese-American student turned in some work this semester which was fastened with a Bump-like tab and slit. She told me that her parents brought her fastener back from a trip to Japan. Could it be that such devices are still made there?