It’s estimated that 25% of the UK’s workforce are office workers. Therefore a huge number of us are used to working with office stationery day in, day out. To prove your everyday essentials are more interesting than they may seem, here are 16 facts about office stationery you can file under amazing.
You would need 477,710 Bic ballpoint pens to draw a straight line to the moon
According to research conducted by Bic in 2008, each of their ballpoint pens can produce up to two miles of writing. As there are 238,855 miles to the moon from earth, it would require nearly half a million ballpoint pens to draw a straight line to our only natural satellite.
The pencil has been proven mightier than the pen
As a counterpoint to Bic’s research, another group decided to find out how long the typical pencil lasts. They concluded that the average lead pencil can draw a continuous line for roughly 35 miles. However, if you wish to prove this yourself, we’d advise taking your best sharpener along with
Paper clips were used to help fight the Nazis
During the Second World War, Norwegian resistance fighters attached a single paper clip to their lapel as a subtle indication that they were taking the fight to Hitler’s troops.
The world’s first rubber was made from stale bread
Rubbers, as we know them today, were first used around 1770 and were given their name by a man called Joseph Priestly. Yet the first known rubber for removing graphite markings was made out of stale bread. Trust us, this works – so next time you leave a loaf of Hovis in the cupboard for too long, why not give it a try?
Yellow fluorescent highlighter ink accounts for around 85% of all sales
Yellow is in the middle spectrum of visible light, and thus works well for people with colour blindness. This is one of the biggest reasons why yellow is the most popular colour of fluorescent highlighter ink. So, as Chris Martin of Coldplay fame might say, “It’s all yellow”.
Pen lids cause an average of 100 deaths a year
We all have work colleagues that spend most of the day incessantly chewing on their pen lids – heck, you might even be one of them. Unfortunately though, this habit has racked up a significant global death toll. To help people breathe, many pen manufacturers introduced a small hole in the lid to help prevent choking.
The ballpoint pen first gained popularity because it didn’t leak at high altitudes
Laszlo Biro, a Hungarian journalist, first invented the ballpoint pen in 1938 when he filled his fountain pen with ink from a printing press to avoid leaks because it dried faster. However, success for the ballpoint pen first took off (literally) when the RAF adopted it during World War II because it wouldn’t leak at high altitudes.
The post-it note wasn’t invented, it was created by accident
In 1968, Spencer Silver, who was an employee of 3M at the time, was trying to create a super-strong adhesive. Yet despite his best efforts, all he could come up with was a very weak adhesive that could be removed without leaving behind any residue. This accidental discovery was then used to create the world’s first post-it note.
The production of a modern laser toner cartridge requires 3.5 quarts of crude oil
Ink cartridges are made of oil, around 3.5 quarts to be precise. A quart is a little more than a litre, which is a big reason why printer ink is so expensive throughout the world.
Typists’ fingers travel up to an average of 12.6 miles each working day
This means that, on average, typists’ fingers could do nearly two-and-a-half marathons each and every working week.
The world’s first printer was invented in 1440
Okay, officially this refers to the world’s first printing press, which was invented around 1440 by Gutenberg for the Holy Roman Empire. Nonetheless, the same press-type technique is still evident in many of today’s office toner printers, which press ink onto paper from a roller rather than a flat surface.
The world’s first stapler was created for King Louis XIV
The first stapler known to man was created for the king of France during the 18th Century. Not only that, but according to records, each staple was inscribed with an insignia of the royal court – which is all very fancy, even by the opulent standards set by France’s royal families.
In the UK, 45 million ink cartridges are sent to land-fill sites a year
To help you visualise this fact, that is enough ink cartridges to stretch the length of Hadrian’s Wall (73 miles) 15 times. Or, alternatively, to cover the football pitch at Manchester United’s ground, Old Trafford, 17 times.
The world’s most expensive pen sold for $8 million
The Fulgor Nocturnus, manufactured by the famous Florence pen makers Tibaldi, sold for $8million dollars at a Shanghai auction in 2010. Are you asking yourself how? Well, the pen is decorated with 945 black diamonds, 123 rubies and, quite frankly, some people are just crazy.
If everyone in UK offices saved one staple a day, it would equate to 72 tonnes of metal each year!
72 tonnes in metal weighs more than two and a bit train carriages, which is a lot of metal.
The average office worker handles around 10,000 sheets of paper every year
As you know, most paper is made out of trees.
This article calculates that the average tree is capable of producing around 80,000 sheets of paper, which is enough to sustain around eight office workers every year.
So there you have it, 16 fascinating facts about stationery. For an extensive range of office stationery and printer ink with
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