Sunday, January 1, 2012

Stapler of the Week Archive- Zenith 548

Zenith 548 enamel finish steel and nickle plated brass




Zenith 548 box top exterior and interior cardboard

I am always on the lookout for my favorites and finding a Zenith plier stapler with original packaging is quite a treat.  My previous Zenith Stapler of the Week offerings have been the 551, 548/E & 548/E7 and now I present the 548.  There isn't too much variation between the 548s.  This version has one feature my other examples do not, the ability to both staple and pin by means of a sliding anvil.  The Zenith company website shows this feature is also available in other versions.  The 548 seems to be a slightly higher quality model with nickle-plated brass parts also available in gold-plate.  The box also reveals that the different staple sizes were noted by the color of the box they were packaged in, the 548 staples, for example, came in a blue box.  This explains the inscription of blue box in four languages on both the 548 and 548/E.

According to Zenith's history, the numbers of the models seem to correspond with the year they were introduced, the 548 in 1948, the 551 (I assume) in 1951 and later the 590 in 1990 and 595 in 1995.  I've always wondered at the seemingly arbitrary nature of model numbers.  This bit of information gives me hope that someday, the mystery of Swingline's later stapler models will be revealed.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, January 1, 2012.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Stapler of the Week Archive- Swingline 790

Swingline 790 plastic, steel, rubber
Swingline 790 plastic, steel, rubber
I have always enjoyed Swingline staplers for their sturdy metal construction much akin to the Tonka trucks of my youth.  At some point it must have become more profitable to forge the stapler of plastic rather than steel.  It was the same with Tonka trucks but the cost savings are lost in quality and longevity.  For example, here are two very nice Swingline 790 magazine staplers composed of at least 80% plastic.  Unfortunately, that plastic construction is liable to fail as is apparent on the white 790.

On the positive side, the 790 is innovative in both form and function; undoubtably, Swingline must have won some design award with it.  First off as a magazine stapler, the staples are coiled in a removable 5000 staple cartridge which is also used on several of Swingline's electric staplers.  Instead of a wire spool, the cartridge is a coil of flat glued staples from which the stapler separates the staple and forms legs to be crimped in the anvil.  On the mechanical scale of complexity, it's one step between a normal strip and a wire spool stapler.  On the Stapler of the Week scale it ranks just between nifty and very cool.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, December 19, 2010.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stapler of the Week- Elastic Juwel & Star Paper Fastener

Elastic Juwel steel chrome and paint finish

Star Paper Fastener steel chrome and phantom enamel finish

These two staplers really represent variations on a theme I have visited many times before.   I had previously mentioned the enameled ornamentation of the Hotchkiss No 54 but the Elastic Juwel goes one step further.  The Juwel is engraved with scenes of flowers and wildlife and in-painted to accentuate the engraving.  The Star Paper Fastener bears the faded remains of the enamel ornamented Hotchkiss No 54 and like the Juwel is yet another example of multiple companies producing identically designed staplers. But as the Antique Stapler Collector's Website notes the Star Paper Fastener Company became the E.H. Hotchkiss Company and continued to market staplers with the Star brand.  Also, frequently stapler patents were purchased from companies by their competitors and then sold under the new owner's name.  It's no wonder I keep talking about the same staplers every month or so.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, August 12, 2010.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Stapler of the Week Archive- Novus B 7

Novus B 7 steel chrome, cream and gold finish
For your stapling pleasure, I present to you another simple yet elegant example from the Novus company.  The B 7 mirrors the design of the B 22 including the push button spring action loading.  The color scheme is a bit warmer than the blue and grey of the B 22 and coincidentally, it matches the corrosion of the steel.  Sometimes these happy accidents happen.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, July 16, 2010.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Stapler of the Week Archive- Markwell "SX" Pacemaker

Markwell "SX" Pacemaker steel and rubber

Markwell "SX" Pacemaker box cardboard and paper

Markwell produced staplers with lettered staple size classifications and the "SX" Pacemaker marks another staple size not yet featured here.  It has some great ergonomic features from back when ergonomics were just called good design.  The base is completely rubber so there's no worry about this stapler sliding anywhere.  There is a  wedge-shaped plunger that makes stapling a pleasure.  I don't know if Markwell still honors its free service claim cited on the box but this stapler promises to keep the pace for years to come.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, July 9, 2010.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stapler of the Week Archive- Hotchkiss No. 53


Hotchkiss No 53 steel chrome finish

For some time I have been collecting versions of the Hotchkiss No 52, No 54 and No 57 and always had a sneaking suspicion there was something missing.  Certain Hotchkiss staple packaging notes the mythical No 53 and here it is, the heavy duty plier stapler.  It has the style of the Hotchkiss plier but unlike the others, the  No 53 will not fit in your pocket easily.  It may fit in your briefcase and it should because lets face it, this stapler means business.  


Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, June 29, 2010.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stapler of the Week Archive- ACCO 131 Frankenstapler

ACCO 131 steel, plastic

This stapler is one example of why I love my job.  On occasion, staplers get broken and they come to the workroom to be mended by the "Fiddler."  Usually it's only a staple jam or a slight adjustment, but sometimes greater measures are required as evident in the repairs needed by this patient.  Apparently, plastic was not the best design choice for the handle of a heavy duty stapler.  Maybe someone tried to staple one too many sheets of paper but in any case, this stapler was very close to making a trip to the dumpster.  With the addition of two mending plates, some machine screws, a bit of paint and some thumb tacks, this ACCO 131 was reborn as Frankenstapler.  There's no telling what's next in Frankenstapler's future, it's already mended the sandal of one research assistant.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, May 28, 2010.