The not so simple paper clip

It is surprising where the topic of inventions and patents can pop up. This evening on BBC 2’s topical comedy show Mock the Week, one of the panellists mentioned the humble paper clip and how it had never been patented.

As I soon discovered this could not have been further from the truth as can be seen at


However the iconic version of the this ubiquitous product shown above and produced by Gem Manufacturing an English company prior to 1899 was first patented by Johan Vaaler a Norwegian. However it appears that Vaaler did not make any money out of ‘his’ invention. Which just goes to show.

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