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Which of these office supplies was invented decades before its practical use?



  A pile of colorful rubber bands
Bill Ebbesen / Wikimedia

Answer: Rubber bands

Most of the office supplies you encounter every day were specifically designed for the purposes that you use. Correction Fluid, like the best-selling liquid paper, was invented by secretary Bette Nesmith Graham in the early 1

950s specifically for the job we all use it for: hiding mistakes on paper. The same goes for staples and paper clips, two different types of paper fixtures invented to attach things to paper (including paper itself).

Rubber bands, on the other hand, were an invention for an application. Early applications of rubber band-like patterns such. B. Rubber rings made of rubber-elastic material in garters and waist bands, first appeared in the early 19th century. However, the rubber used in these constructions was not particularly stable and prone to damage from heat or cold. Despite the abundance of rubber waste from early rubber manufacturing and the willingness of early inventors and entrepreneurs to make all kinds of waste (including early rubber bands), they simply did not prevail.

The main reason was instability and brittleness. This problem was resolved when Charles Goodyear discovered rubber vulcanization in 1839 and revolutionized rubber production. A few years later, in 1845, the English inventor Stephen Perry patented vulcanized rubber bands, and finally, the rubber band had evolved to become a practical paper clip.


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