Bump Paper Fastener – Hand Held Stapleless Stapler


Bump Paper FastenerThe Bump Paper Fastener was invented by George P Bump and patented (US1065904) in 1913.  George Bump went on to create the Bump’s Perfected Paper Fastener Company and at some point changed the name to The Bump Paper Fastener Company in La Crosse Wisconsin.  The first design was a table top paper fastener that looked similar to a stapler, however it didn’t use staples or any other material.  The Bump Paper Fastener simply cuts a hole in the paper similar to a hole punch, but instead of a round hole, it is triangular in shape.  The punched paper is then folded and inserted into an additional slice that was also cut.  It was the ultimate in green technology.

After the table top version, George went about inventing a hand held version of the Bump Paper Fastener and on July 21, 1914 (US1104622) it was patented.  As far as we have been able to tell there were 4 different versions of the Bump Paper Fasteners.  There appears to have been 2 tabletop versions and 2 handheld versions.

Now for the really interesting stuff. On January 16, 1942 the War Production Board (WPB) was established

Bump Paper Fastener

by executive order. The WPB’s primary task was converting civilian industry to war (World War II) production. Its other task was to limit and create restrictions on the usage of rubber, tin, and steel. Manufactures who produced products using these materials would have to either eliminated production or use alternative materials.   For example most companies that made Metal toys were banned from making during this time, since the metal was needed for the war effort.  At the same time, staplers and such were still needed, so the Bump Paper Fastener Company was still able to operate and produce their products, but had to change their metal formula to adhere to the WPB’s requirements.  This new formula created a semi-gloss black look to the staplers.  As such, the bump staplers made during this time have the same blackish color.  This is a good indication to know when the fastener was made.  Bump Paper fasteners made prior to 1942 were made using different materials and were silver.

The last Bump Paper Fastener was a hand held version invented by Leroy A Thomas.  This new version look

s very similar to the one made back in 1914, but instead of the handles pointing inward, they point outward.  Other than that the two handhelds look almost identical.

Bump Paper Fastener Patents

Bump Paper Fastener (Tabletop model 1)
Jul 16, 1910
Patent Date – June 24, 1913
Inventor George P Bump
Means for fastening paper sheets

Bump Paper Fastener (Handheld model 1)Bump Paper Fastener Handheld model
May 5, 1913
Patent Date – Jul 21, 1914
Inventor George P Bump La Crosse Wis
Machine For Fastening Paper
Assignor Bump’s Perfected Paper Fastener Company

Bump Paper Fastener (Tabletop model 2)
Nov 28, 1917
Patent Date – Oct 29, 1918
Inventor George P Bump
Implement For Uniting Paper Sheets

Bump Paper Fastener (Handheld model 2)
Oct 16, 1936
Patent Date – Apr 11, 1939
Inventor Leroy A Thomas La Crosse Wis
Assignor to Bump Paper Fastener Company, La Crosse, Wisconsin


Bump Paper FastenerThe main competitor to the Bump Paper Fastener company appears to be The Clipless Paper Fastener Company of Newton, Iowa.  The Clipless Stand Machine made by the Clipless Paper Fastener Company stands out as king of the stapleless stapler.

Search Terms People Used To Find This Article

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About Author

I share a passion for collecting all things vintage and antique and love to share that passion with others.


  1. Hey Tom,

    What version is it? There are to my knowledge 4-5 models.

    The earliest version Bump Paper Fastener (Tabletop model 1)
    US1065904 is worth the most since you rarely see it on Ebay.

    In General Bump Paper Fasteners go for $20-$60 depending on age and condition. I have the Tabletop model 2 with a patent pending and I got it for $24 this year.

    • Hi Tom,

      I have one of the original silver handhelds in mint condition (it works great), and the original box. It sounds like it would be toward the top of the range.

      • Hi Ted,

        In almost all cases, if you have a box to go with it, then the fastener should be worth more. Some of the older boxes are worth more than the actual fasteners. People just love to collect old advertising.

  2. Hi Tom. I have a hand held Bump’s Paper fastener which I bought for next to nothing here i the UK. It has a battered box and an advertising sheet. Do you know, I have little interest in value but I would like to know the rough age. It will appear on http://www.locksands.wordpress.com sometime towards 20th April. Maybe you could take a look and let me have an idea of which model this is.



  3. I’m tired of removing staples brefore I recycle paper. How many pieces of paper would a Bump attach?

    • Tom Crandall on

      Great question. Sadly I never really thought about actually seeing how many pieces of paper I could actually staple with these. In generally after some testing, I think it is reasonable to be able to fasten 4 pieces of paper with the hand held versions. Once you start adding more, it becomes increasingly hard to punch and hard to remove the paper fastener. It tends to get stuck. The desktop paper fasteners can do about 7-8 sheets. The issue is the more sheets you have, the harder it becomes for the machine to tuck the pieces of paper in the slice it creates.

  4. Will Zimpfer on

    Hi, Tom.
    Today I purchased a Bump paper fastener at an estate sale. It is my second one (my other is in storage and I miss it). When I got home with it I see that the tongue is gone-more that likely broken. It cuts both holes, but doesn’t push the tab through the slot. Is there any way to gain access to the inside of the tool without destroying it? If not is there anybody that can fix it or would like it for parts? According to the information on this site it is the handheld model 1, patent date July 21 ’14. I’m sure this is the most common problem with these.

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