Here at Euroffice we love office life…
….and pride ourselves on being the office supplies experts, with this in mind, we’ve come up with a handy product guide. The A – Z of Office Supplies. A gift from Euroffice to your office, to help you find out more about what we have to offer. Each week we’ll feature a selection of our favourite products along with some quirky facts about each of them and of course, all the information you’ll need to purchase your own. I wonder if anyone will get the full A-Z collection 🙂 Let’s get the ball point pen’ rolling with…
A is for…
- You’ve heard of reams of A4 paper, but did you know that a bale is a bundle of ten reams? And 25 sheets of paper is called a quire.
- French paper was once classified by watermark. Raisin, which had a grape motif, measured 50cm x 65cm & Grand Aigle (75cm x 110cm) had a crowned eagle.
- A single tree can produce up to 3,077 sheets of A4 paper and a single sheet can be recycled up to eight times.
- After ordering a TV online, an American man received assault rifle by mistake. The courier company had got address labels mixed up. oops!
- Postage stamps are a form of currency in American prisons, so address labels on packages have to be inspected carefully.
- In 2012 a Chinese man shipped himself to his girlfriend as a surprise. He almost suffocated when his couriers couldn’t find the right address.
- Before they had paper, Sumerians were making proto-analysis pads out of clay, with one used for charting livestock dating to 2028 BC.
- Tax evasion was Al Capone’s downfall. His insect-phobic bookkeeper talked about the gangster’s ledgers after he was held in a cockroach-infested cell.
- Fra Lucas Pacioli (d.1517) not only invented double-entry bookkeeping, but his pal Leonardo Da Vinci illustrated his book on the Golden Ratio.
B is for…
- Ballpoint pens are slim but have enormous capacity. The ink in clear ballpoints can draw a line that is up to 7,500 feet long.
- The first ballpoint was invented in the USA in 1888 to write on rough surfaces like wood & fabric. Inventor John Loud made few pens and let his patent expire.
- Laszlo Biro, creator of the famous pen, worked on over 100 inventions & was a surrealist painter. Argentinian Inventors Day is held yearly on his birthday.
- Binding combs are clever, but they don’t have anything on the 16th Century Swedish ‘6-in-1 book’, whose binding means it can be read six different ways.
- Until the 1930s document binders were made of coiled wire. Metal shortages in WW2 forced a switch to plastic for binding combs & spiral spines.
- Could binding combs have an ancient ancestor in Asia? Japanese ‘stab binding‘ also wraps around the spine of the book, though using silken thread, not plastic.
- Magician Harry Houdini gave people he met a triangular business card – he must have had a custom-made card holder to match.
- In Japan, it is good business etiquette to carry a business card holder; it’s considered very rude to simply stuff someone’s card into your pockets.
- Victorians kept their visiting cards in ornate silver card cases, the ancestor of today’s posh business card holder.
C is for…
- Perhaps the world’s first solar calculator, the TEAL Photon was released in 1978 for $39.99 – that’s about $146 in today’s money.
- ‘Lightning calculators’ was a term applied to people with prodigious mental mathematical ability. They were popular acts in Vaudeville days.
- The first readily available mechanical calculator was the Arithmometer in the 19th Century. It cost £20 back then, which is about £2,000 today.
- Comb binding covers are often made of PVC, whose thickness is measured in microns. A single human hair is said to be around 50 microns wide.
- The PVC used in comb binding covers can have an ignition point as high as 455°C – paper lights much more easily at 218°C.
- Mouthguards and dental retainers are also made from PVC..Smile 🙂
- Skara Brae, a Neolithic stone settlement in Orkney, has a stone cupboard (and other furniture) dating back to 3180 BC.
- Skeletons in cupboards were originally known as skeletons in closets. It’s thought the term was first used in an 1815 book on genetics & hereditary traits
- In 2014 ancient Iraqi pottery and food was found in a dusty box on top of a cupboard at Bristol University. They were excavated from a tomb in the 1920s.
D is for…
- 18th century naturalist Carl Linnaeus invented index cards, the ancestor of subject dividers, in order to manage all of his scientific data.
- Apollo 11 astronauts carried mini manuals on their missions. Fixed to their wrists, these booklets’ instructions & diagrams were separated by tab dividers.
- Lewis Fry Richardson (d.1953) inventor of modern weather forecasting, kept a diary separated by his own subject dividers. Topics included jam and midges.
- The Duracell Bunny was born in 1973. Its family now includes the Charger Bunny and the Plus Power Bunny, aimed at different kinds of types of uses.
- Scientists at Harvard used a 3D printer to create a lithium-ion battery the size of a grain of sand. These tiny batteries are intended to power micro-electronics.
- Benjamin Franklin coined the term battery as we know it, taking his cue from a cannon battery in describing things that worked together in an experiment.
Read the full A-Z of Office Supplies by Euroffice: