Wednesday, May 25, 2022

SearchResearch Challenge (5/25/22): Finding original patents?

 I found the most remarkable machine... 

... just a few years ago.  I'd gone to a farm auction in upstate New York where a longtime family in the area was getting rid of the old homestead and everything in it.  If you've never been to such an auction, it's worthwhile, if only to see gadgets and gizmos that you wouldn't believe. 

At this auction, I found two gadgets that amazed me. I grew up in LA, where we didn't have such things. I could figure out what they did, but I was surprised to see how old they were.  And that, naturally, led me to try and dig up when these devices first came onto the market.  Or, for today's Challenge, when were they first patented.  (The patent date being a good proxy for the date they entered the marketplace.)  

Can you find the patent dates for these two devices?  

1. What's the patent date for the apple parer seen above?  (See another view below for a similar device with an apple in place.) 

2. And the device that captured my heart, a stapler that works WITHOUT staples!  When was this (or something very much like it) first patented? 

The one I bought (oddly enough, for $2.00) has long since been lost to me in one move or another, but I remember it fondly.  It could "staple" about 5 pages of paper together by cleverly punching a tongue-shape in the paper, and then tucking the tongue through a little cut made behind the tongue.  (This makes sense if you look at the image below.)  The tongue is punched out, and then threaded through the slit on the right.

Can you figure out the patent dates for these two VERY clever devices?  

Let us know what resources you used, and what queries you did to find them.  

Search on! 


  1. I started using by entering "Apple" "sargent" "foster" but I'm not great at this so instead I went to my goto patent search tool, and entered the same things and sorted so oldest came first. (I then repeated this in - and it was there but I'd missed it first time round - it was titled "Machine fob pabiwg" and so I had skipped this). On Espacenet ( I got patent US10078A which is a machine for paring apples, first published on 4 October 1853 by Ephraim Pratt of Worcester - Assignor to J Sargent and Dan P Foster. So the answer on the patent publication date is 4 October 1853.

    The second one was just as easy - sticking with Espacenet. I looked at the image - and had intended to download it to search with the image. However I noticed that the file name was "Bump paper fastener.jpg" so instead I searched for "Bump Paper Fastener" and the first result was
    US1104622A • 1914-07-21 • BUMP S PERFECTED PAPER FASTENER CO
    Earliest priority: 1914-06-10 • Earliest publication: 1914-07-21

    The second result was quite a bit later - from 1939 (also by the Bump Paper Fastener Company). However I wanted to check which was the first reference so instead of sorting by relevance I switched to earliest publication. There was an earlier reference for 4 December 1906 by George Wheelock (Patent US837363A ) but looking at the diagrams this obviously was not the same thing. However the second link was

    Method and Appliance for Fastening Sheets of Paper Together.
    GB190928080A • 1910-08-18 • BUMP GEORGE PENDELTON
    Earliest priority: 1909-12-01 • Earliest publication: 1910-06-01

    This looks similar to the item you shared - and is a UK patent (hurrah) published 1st June 1910 and four years earlier than the US patent. However there is another patent filed 3 Jan 1911 by Warren Howard (Patent US980525A ) that mentions a Bump Patent filed 14 May 1909. This implies that the Bump device was available before June 1910 or even the earliest priority of the UK device (1 Dec 1909). SO I looked on and there was this one too: METHOD OF FASTENING PAPER SHEETS AND THE LIKE.
    US1009644A • 1911-11-21 • BUMP GEORGE P
    Earliest priority: 1909-05-14 • Earliest publication: 1911-11-21

    So this particular device (although perhaps not the model in the image) was first made available in May 1909 in the USA and then patented in other markets too - with the patents being granted more quickly in the case of the UK and Canada.

    The lessons learned:
    1) Devices can be available before the patent publication date - priority date is when patent protection starts. Hence searching for the earliest date should look at priority but publication can give more.
    2) Read the patent / look at the images to make sure you have the right thing
    3) Although Google Patents is good other patent search tools may be easier / more powerful / better (e.g. Espacenet).
    4) Check the name on images - as that can give clues. Sargent & Foster in the first, and the file name in the second. (And the logo on the 2nd confirms it was a Bump product).

  2. Replies
    1. I Searched by image the apple peeler.

      With that, found :

      Antique 1880’s Cast Iron Apple Peeler Reading Hardware Co.

      With that, searched [reading hardware apple peeler ]

      Found link already provide by Remmij. Searched videos and found:

      Restoration apple peeler:
      And in the comments, video's author mentioned:"Lehman’s bought that patent years ago and still makes the same peeler."

      I'll watch the next video in which he works with an apple.

    2. Crop Circle May 2022

  3. Paper fastener: Somebody had already named the image "Bump Paper Fastener" so I dragged that image into Image Search which did not help much so I dropped the image and searched on BPF. That took me to a same name WWW site wherein is the whole history, including a link to the patent of 1913.

    It is listed in Official Gazette of the United States Patent Office June 24 1913 page 1033--et viola !

    I actually used a tool like this when I spent a summer working in an insurance brokers office 1960ish.

  4. ​Note: This comment was too long to post as a whole, so I had to break it into parts

    Part 1: The staple-less stapler (query #2) really attracted my attention, since I'd had no idea that such things had even existed, so I decided to take some time and figure out when it was patented.

    First issue: What is a staple-less stapler? I'd never heard of it before looking at this post, so I need to look it up.

    Search query 1: Staple-less stapler Wikipedia

    Result ( Staplers can be hand-held or electric, they are used for joining paper together (though they can also be used in surgery). They were invented by George McGill in 1866, though there were improvements made to them (with various people receiving patents for them) through the late 19th century. In the early 20th century, clip-less staplers were invented, patented, and sold, with the Clipless Stand Machine being sold at that time (from 1909 until sometime in the 1920s). Staplers like what we use today date back to the 1940s.

    At this point, I have a name to look up, though, unfortunately, there is no citation that goes with it, so I have to hunt for it on my own rather. But, first, I think that a reverse image search on the picture would be useful.

    Search query 2: Reverse image search on the clip-less stapler. Went to Google Images (, clicked on the camera icon (to get reverse image search), and pasted the link to the image. And, I got nothing: There were two results, both of which had nothing to do with the image (though there were a number of images listed that were said to be similar to it). It appears to be a dead end.

    Search query 3: Clipless stand machine

    Result ( It was a fastener (that functioned as a stapleless stapler), plus this one was sold from 1911 to 1921. However, the image did not look like what was in the picture. So, another dead end (though I did learn what it is not).

    End of Part 1

  5. Part 2: Search query 4: Stapleless stapler history

    Result ( - It's a site run by a man who collects old office equipment [including staplers], and who researches and writes about them, plus the entry on the clipless stapler I looked at had references, so it seems credible): Features the Mosda clipless fastener, which was introduced in the mid-20th century (1947: UK; 1954: US). It used the bump paper fastener method, which had been patented about 40 years before, though the patent had since expired.

    So, a couple of thoughts:
    1. I took another look at the image from the post, and noticed its title (Bump Paper Fastener), plus I noticed that the logo (CPBF) could be related to it.
    2. It looks like this might be a clipless stapler made using the bump paper fastener method, which apparently came out around either 1907 or 1914.

    I was about to do another search, when I saw another result for something called the "Early Office Museum," so I clicked on the link

    Result (, which is from the site Before I began, I noticed that, at the bottom of this page (and others associated with this museum), that there was a noticeable copyright notice, which said, in essence, "these materials and images are ours, so don't claim them for yourself. Don't use any text or images without written permission from the curator, though non-infringing use is ok, so long as you cite this source."
    It was apparently last updated in 2016, though this site and its contents do belong to whoever started it, and I have no interest in violating copyright. And, there is no Creative Commons license here. That said, as I'm not making money off of this, as it's for research purposes, as I plan on merely reading this site and summarizing a few relevant points on the SearchReSearch blog, and as I will be citing this site, I don't think that there's a problem with it. (That, and writing about it on the SearchReSearch blog would probably qualify as Fair Use []. However, if Dan were to decide to write a sequel to "The Joy of Search" and were to want to include this site, he'd definitely want to contact its curator and get permission from them.)
    So, some points from this article:

    a) The demand for paper fasteners arose in the mid-19th century, owing to the need to keep several pieces of paper together. There were various ways of keeping them attached (including string, stitches, glue, red tape, and rubber bands), though fasteners made of metal started getting heavily advertised in 1866.
    b) Stapling technology began in the 1850s, and advanced through the rest of the 19th century and during the first half of the 20th century.
    c) In 1909, staplers without staples were introduced, starting with the Clipless Paper Fastener (1909) and the Bump Paper Fastener (1910). Then, in 1915, the Cliplox Paper Fastener (handheld) was introduced.

    So, it appears that the stapler in this picture is one of the hand-held ones.

    This result also has a gallery of images ( And, none of them look like the image that Dan included. That said, I do have some more information, including when staplers were invented, when staple-less staplers came about (1909), and when handheld ones were introduced (1915). So, I got a bit closer to an answer, though I am still not there.

    So, I'll next look up the four initials on the handheld stapler Dan included, along with handheld staple-less stapler

    Search query 5: CPBF handheld staple-less stapler -Got lots of results, though they're for ones that are around today.

    Search query 6: CPBF handheld staple-less stapler 1915 - And, again, nothing.

    End of Part 2

  6. Part 3: I decided to try a different route, namely to see when those kinds of staplers were patented, and to forget about the initials on this one.

    Search query 7: what year were stapleless staplers patented

    Result (, again): Its inventor (a man named George P. Bump) came up with the idea in 1909, and he filed a patent for it. In 1911, it was broken up into one part, for the mechanism behind that kind of stapler, and the other for one that was handheld. The first one (no. 1,009,644) was granted in 1911 to him and to another inventor (G. Hawkins), while the second (no. 1,065,903) was granted in 1913 to him and a different inventor (J.C. Hawkins). As well, the inventors created their own companies, with Bump starting the Bump Paper Fastener Company, and the other two starting the Clipless Paper Fastener company.

    So, given that the image Dan provided for the handheld staple-less staple was titled "Bump Paper Fastener," I'd say that it was made by Bump's company, which apparently started in 1914 and last advertised a model in 1934 (though Bump sold more fasteners from 1942 to 1950).

    So, now I have a company name - the Bump Paper Fastener Company - a patent number and year it was awarded, an inventor (George Bump), and a range of dates (1909 to 1934). So, given that, I have two other questions: Who was George Bump, and what year was the staple-less stapler invented?

    End of Part 3 (of 4)

  7. Good morning!

    I think, Dr. Russell will find this interesting.

    Coastal erosion:

    I, on other topics, and I know, it's is probably very dumb, was thinking: How Google and apps like LiveScore keep updated sports results in real time? There are many games, different sports and plenty of data to keep updated. I searched and failed to find the how