The History of the Paper Punch

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The History of the Paper Punch

Three Hole Paper Punch
Three Hole Paper Punch. Simon Brown/Getty Images

A paper punch is a relatively simple device also called a hole punch, that is often found in the office or school room, that punches holes in paper.

The purpose of the humble paper punch is to punch holes in paper, so that sheets of paper can be collected and stored in a binder. A paper punch is also commonly used to punch holes in paper tickets to prove admission or usage.

History of the Paper Punch

The origins of the humble paper punch has yet to be determined, however we have found two early patents for the paper punch, a device that is designed to punch holes in paper.

  • Benjamin Smith's 1885 Hole Punch
  • Charles Brooks' 1893 Ticket Punch

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The History of the Paper Punch - Benjamin Smith's Hole Punch

History of the Paper Punch - Benjamin Smith's Hole Punch
History of the Paper Punch - Benjamin Smith's Hole Punch. USPTO

In 1885, Benjamin Smith of Massachusetts invented an improved hole punch with spring-loaded receptacle to collect the clippings U.S. patent number 313027). Benjamin Smith called it the conductor's punch.

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The History of the Paper Punch - Charles Brooks' Ticket Punch

History of the Paper Punch - Charles Brooks' Ticket Punch
History of the Paper Punch - Charles Brooks' Ticket Punch. USPTO

In 1893, Charles Brooks patented a paper punch called a ticket punch. It had a built-in receptacle on one of the jars to collect the round pieces of waste paper and prevent littering. View the full patent issued to Charles Brooks for his ticket punch.