Posts tagged “Officemate”

The original Clippy

Mousetraps, Maybe, but Can You Build a Better Paper Clip? [] – Embedded in this article about Klix, ACCO’s new entry into the paperclip fray are some fun tidbits about the humble supply, which has been a staple in offices (ahem) since 1903. The subtext of the article seems to question the wisdom of reinventing the poster-child for commodotization at all.

A bigger mystery is what Americans do with the estimated 11 billion clips sold annually in the U.S. That works out to about 35 per American. “We actually can’t understand how the U.S. consumption can be so huge,” says Martin Yang, a senior vice president at Officemate. Many, of course, “are used to hold papers together temporarily,” as the International Trade Commission, a U.S. agency, helpfully explained in a July report on the clip trade. That isn’t the full story, though. “I use them a lot,” says William Zamstein, a 23-year-old Penn State student who worked as an intern at the U.S. Department of Labor this summer. “Staples are totally permanent, and they leave marks,” he says. Mr. Zamstein also has used paper clips to clean his fingernails. Others report using clips to hang Christmas tree ornaments, clean pipes and unclog tubes of glue. Some bend clips while talking on the phone, then flip them into the trash. Certain types of shredders have been made tough enough to digest all the clips office workers toss out with stacks of old paper.


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