The Clipless Stand Machine was manufactured and sold by the Clipless Paper Fastener Company of Newton, Iowa. It’s a “stapler” that doesn’t use staples. Instead, it cuts a wedge of paper and folds it under to fasten pieces of paper together. Ingenious! And it has a very cool, industrial streamline design that to me was way ahead of its time. The craftsmanship compared to other office gadgets of that time puts them to shame.
The Clipless Stand Machine was invented by J. C. Hawkins. He was born in Troy, Doniphan County, Kansas, April 30, 1869. Mr Hawkins was actually a lawyer, graduating in 1892 from Iowa State University in Iowa City. Around 1895 he arrived in Newton and practiced law as well as tinkered with inventions.
J C Hawkins had several patents pertaining to Clipless Paper Fasteners. The Clipless Stand Machine appears to have been patented (1173425) on February 29, 1916. The patent was applied for on November 3, 1911. The only references I could find on the internet, have the patent date as 1910, which clearly seems to contradict our research. Other references were that the Clipless Stand Machine was made in North Berwick, Maine, which also appear incorrect, unless Mr. Hawkins who lived in Newton Iowa had it produced there.
The Clipless Stand Machine or Clipless Paper Fastener stands about 5-1/2 inches tall and weighs a substantial amount (1 pound, 14 ounces). These were reportedly sold from 1909 to 1920s. This is the ultimate paper fastener. The one we now have is in absolutely amazing condition. It says “Pat Pend”, which leaves me to believe that it was made either prior to 1911 or between 1911 and 1916. What I find really amazing is how well it has held up over time. Ours looks like it is brand new, except for the cloth bottom. Whatever metal was used must have been high quality and advanced for the period. I can only imagine whoever owned this piece of equipment, must have really taken good care of it. To think this is most likely over 100 years old and look almost new is just goes to show how amazing American products were at that time. Quality all the way.
The machine has a shear plate which is adjustable by turning the screw on the front of the device. Mr. Hawkins clearly knew what he was doing and achieved something that was truly remarkable.
J C Hawkins also submitted a patent (1232541) October 5, 1911 for a hand held version of a paper fastener. The official patent date is July 10, 1917. Here is where it gets a little strange. I have this exact paper fastener and the date on it says “Pat’d Aug 2, 1910. Clearly there is a discrepancy between the date stamp on the fastener and the actual filing date. It is also strange that the patent took 6 years to process. I am not sure if World War I (1914 – 1918) had anything to do with this, but it could have slowed the process down.
After doing some more digging, there appears to be 2 patents that were submitted to the patent office for the hand held version of the Clipless Paper Fastener. 1 was submitted by J C Hawkins (US1232541) and one was submitted by DANIEL W. GAGE (US1130590) where J C Hawkins was the assignor. Daniel W Cage was from Massachusetts, but we could not find any more information on him pertaining to the device other than the patent info.
Below are the hand held version of the Clipless Paper Fastener (Left) and the Clipless Stand Machine (Middle) by J C Hawkins and the Bump Paper Fastener (Right).
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