What use the humble foldback clip? Well, you may be surprised as to what these stationery beauts can do: emergency cufflinks, cable catchers, money holders... The possibilities are in fact endless.
Also known as a binder clip or a banker’s clip, the foldback clip is a simple device for binding sheets of paper together. It leaves the paper intact and can be removed quickly and easily, unlike the staple. It is not to be confused with a Bulldog clip, an older device which is stronger and has rigid rather than folding handles (although it used for the same function). It is also sometimes referred to as a "handbag clip" because, when not in use, it can be up to look like a handbag
The foldback clip was invented in 1910 by Washington, D.C. resident Louis E. Baltzley, who ultimately was granted U.S. Patent number 1,139,627 for his invention in 1915. At that time, the method of binding sheets of paper together was to punch holes in them and sew them together, making it tedious to remove a single sheet of paper. Louis Baltzley invented the binder clip to help his father, Edwin Baltzley, a writer and inventor, hold his manuscripts together easily. He initially produced his invention through the L.E.B. Manufacturing Company. These earliest binder clips are stamped "L.E.B." on one side of the sheet steel. Manufacturing rights were later licensed to other companies.
While the original design has since been changed five times, the basic mechanism has remained the same.