Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Stapler of the Week Archive: Swingline 4P

Swingline 4P steel grey finish

Swingline 4P steel two tone grey finish

In a recent correspondence, a friend of the Stapler of the Week shared photos of his father's beautiful chrome Parrot Speed Fastener 4P.  Parrot Speed Fastener became Speed Products and later Swingline.  In sharing what I knew about his stapler, I realized I had not yet featured my own collection's examples, although I had previously featured their companion stapler, the smaller Swingline 3P.  The 4P is the plier version of the Swingline No.4  minus the streamlined "sphinx paw" base.  This ingenious design adaptation took parts assembled at the beginning of the line and transformed a desktop stapler into one that fits comfortably in the hand.  Perhaps this innovation did not inure them to the folks in the desk industry.  I particularly enjoy the version with the finger guard.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, April 29, 2020.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Stapler of the Week Archive- Hotchkiss No. 57

Hotchkiss No. 57 steel black and chrome finish

Hotchkiss No. 57 box cardboard
Hotchkiss No. 57 box interior cardboard

This Hotchkiss No. 57 is one of the many briefcase plier stapler models in my collection.  The packaging of this stapler, however, displays a variation I had not yet seen.  The "True Blue Clipper" perhaps speaks to Norwalk's proximity to the Atlantic and may have been so-themed to appeal to the nautical businessman or stapler deprived sailor.  In any case, it provides another example of variation in decoration as a marketing tool.    
Hotchkiss No. 57 from a Collectors Weekly post by American Stationer 
Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, April 24, 2020.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Stapler of the Week Archive- Arrow JT-21 & JT-21M

Arrow JT-21 steel chrome and hammered teal finish 

Arrow JT-21M steel chrome and teal finish

In my first year of college, I bought an Arrow T-50 after learning how to stretch my own canvases.  It was the first stapler that I owned, years before they became an object of study.  The Arrow JT-21 is the light-duty version of the Arrow professional line of tackers.  After stretching several semesters of canvases with the heavy-duty T-50, my younger self probably would've much preferred the easier action of the JT-21.  

The Arrow Fastener Company was founded by Morris Abrams in 1929.  He sold staples from his New York apartment and later began to develop and manufacture staplers of his own design. The weathered version dates to the years when Arrow manufactured staplers in Brooklyn, NY, whereas the newer one to after they expanded to a larger facility in Saddlebrook, NJ.  I find it interesting how the design of the stapler has remained basically the same but the decoration gives a hint to the date of its manufacture.  Like kitchen appliances, staplers follow the tastes of an era. 
Patent drawing for JT-21
Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, April 16, 2020.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Stapler of the Week Archive- Etona HP-210

Etona HP-210 plastic grey and off-white tone, steel chrome finish

Etona HP-210 box cardboard

Etona HP-210 box cardboard

It took me some time to embrace contemporary design and materials when applied to staplers.  Plastics were okay when used for parts that could not be produced by folding or pressing steel but were often the most frequently broken components.  My romantic ideal was that old heavy steel is what gave value to the first staplers that started my collection.  One can experience the weight of it, the coldness of it in your hand, perhaps the subtle scent of machine oil, and the satisfying sound of its action as the staple is driven home.  That brings us to the Etona HP-210, our offering this week.

The HP-210, manufactured in Japan, meets none of the criteria that once were requirements for my collection.  It weighs next to nothing and as the box states is, "Lightweight Safer for glass counters."  In fact, there is very little sensory experience to holding it.  There is only the simplicity of form and function.  This sensibility is mirrored in the other Japanese examples in my collection: the Muji and the Nalclip Nicler.  In light of all the once perceived negatives, the HP-210 has won a place in my stapler pantheon and atop any glass counters I may someday find.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, April 9, 2020.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Stapler of the Week Archive- Novus J220

Novus J220 chrome finish

Novus J220 box cardboard
Novus J220 box cardboard
Today, we feature another shining German example from Novus.  We have already featured two desk top staplers by Novus, the B22 and the B7The J220 chrome finish has withstood the test of time nestled in its box.  Like fine silver, one almost needs to wear gloves while handling it so as not to leave fingerprints.  This fact always makes me question the design choice of such a finish in a hand-operated tool.  But as in the case of any highly-polished object aesthetic wins over function.  I suppose I'll just have to get out the white cotton gloves.

Excerpt from the Stapler of the Week, April 1, 2020.