Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Office Supplies Was Invented Decades Before It Saw Practical Use?

Staples
Correction Fluid
Rubber Bands
Paperclips
A pile of colorful rubber bands on a table.
Bill Ebbesen/Wikimedia

Answer: Rubber Bands

The majority of office supplies that you come across on a day-to-day basis were expressly invented for the purposes you use them for. Correction fluid, such as the best-selling brand Liquid Paper, was invented in the early 1950s by secretary Bette Nesmith Graham specifically for the task we all use it for: covering up mistakes on paper. The same can be said of staples and paper clips, two different kinds of paper fasteners that were, well, invented to fasten things to paper (including paper to itself).

Rubber bands, on the other hand, were an invention looking for an application. Early applications of rubber-band like designs, such as rings of rubber elastic-like material in garters and waistbands, first appeared in the early 19th century. The rubber used in these designs, however, wasn’t particularly stable and prone to damage from hot or cold. Despite the abundance of waste rubber from early rubber manufacturing and the willingness of early inventors and entrepreneurs to capitalize on this waste in making all manner of things (including early rubber bands), they just didn’t catch on.

The primary reason was instability and brittleness. This issue was resolved when, in 1839, Charles Goodyear discovered rubber vulcanization and revolutionized rubber production. Several years later in 1845, English inventor Stephen Perry patented rubber bands made from vulcanized rubber and, finally, the rubber band had evolved to the point that it could become a practical office staple.

Trivia

Hard

The First Metal To Be Used By Humankind Was?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The Most Expensive Computer Of All Time?

Trivia

Hard

Which Candy Was Originally Marketed As A Smoking Cessation Tool?

Trivia

Hard

In The 1980s There Was A Brief But Active Trend In Comic Books Portraying?

Trivia

Easy

The Famous Pont Des Arts Bridge In Paris Was Damaged In 2014 By Hundreds Of?

Trivia

Hard

What Size Were The Original Floppy Disks?

Trivia

Hard

The Worst Computer Security Breach In U.S. Military History Was The Result Of?

Trivia

Hard

What Was The First Volunteer Distributed Computing Project?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Movie Theater Staples Was Originally Banned In Early Movie Theaters?

Trivia

Hard

The Floppy Disk Icon As A Save Button On Modern Software Is An Example Of A Design Element Called A?