Six of the Most Iconic Paper Clips Ever Designed

by Tona Bell February 27, 2017 2 min read


We are so excited to introduce you to a new company that we are very passionate about: Tools To LiveBy. Like us, they are inspired by vintage and classic stationery. They have a love for refined modeling and packaging, things that we look for when we source tools for the studio. (We also think it is pretty cool they are also Taiwanese, like me!) Enough about that, here’s why we truly love them:

They have reproduced, in brass, six of the most iconic paper clips styles ever designed. Here they are in chronological order of the year they were introduced. We invite you to collect them all, because its hard to decide on just one!

1897 The Niagra (GEM)

Tool To Live By Niagara Brass Paper ClipsNiagara clip was invented with patent in 1897 in New York. It has a nickname “GEM Paper Clip.” GEM can hold more pieces of paper easily and a heart shape emerges naturally that brings a lot of fun.

1900 The McGill

The patent of McGill paper clipwas granted in 1900. Its proportion has been adjusted a little bit in order to hold paper perfectly.

1902 The Ideal

Cushman & Denison Mfg. Co. launched the Ideal clip that became popular instantly and continually manufactured until now. Tools to Live by makes this in a smaller size to clip fewer sheets of paper. They have given it a nickname “Butterfly Clip.

1904 The Weis

Weis Binder Co. launched the triangular clip in 1903. The patent was granted in 1904. The right triangle design makes the clip convenient to handle with one raised tip that also creates gap between different paper files.


1908 The Owl

The owl clip was created in 1908 in the United States. The design is so smart that it holds firmly, won’t hurt the paper, and double clipping. The name “owl” was called because the shape is like the eyes of an owl. 

1918 The Mogul

Clipper Mfg. Co. released the Mogul clip in 1918. With the unique shape of design, this clip can hold sheets of paper firmly.


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