At first I did not intend to collect vintage office supplies. I guess I was always drawn to them. They remind me of weekend stays with my grandparents here there were old pencils and paperclips in the kitchen drawer and we would use them with little memo pads to draw on or keep score of our gin rummy card games. There was a fancy address book next to the telephone in the dining room – there was just one telephone!
The wooden pastel box was actually my grandfathers. He was an artist and a house painter by trade. I keep my drawing pencils in it.
So every time I see something that reminds me of those days I snatch it up especially since it is usually less than a dollar. I love old stamps too.
After a while I realized that I have an actual collection not just a couple of items. There are fancy hole punches like the one the conductor punches your ticket with on the train. Boxes of brass or steel paper clips – these are quite sturdy. As you can see I have found old library check out cards that were never used.
There was a time when you needed these things for school. Reinforcements to keep your paper in your loose leaf binder and if you did a good job on your homework you would get a gold star.
I especially love these brass paper clips. I have enough boxes that I can use some and also keep some for display.
Besides the gold star on your homework you could also use stars to decorate your wrapped packages at the holidays.
I love this souvenir address book from St. Petersburg FL. Made in Japan, it has a hand painted cover and gold embossing. I imagine someone picking this up while on vacation in the 60s and bringing it home for their grandma. Of course it was too pretty to use.
Air mail envelopes feel so patriotic and even more so when you think about all the US service men and women who counted on the mail to keep in touch with loved ones during war times.
Sometimes I find an address book that was used and I wonder about the person who owned it and if any of these people and businesses are still around. I looked up Fletchers Fish Bait and alas they are no longer in our fair city.
There were times when you would mount your photos in an album using photo corners so you could remove them if you needed to.
Collecting vintage office supplies with their mid century distinctive packaging such as paperclips, staples, note pads, reinforcements etc. is fun and can be interesting to display as well. These will be so sharp looking in a shadow box or displayed on an old desk.