May 29 is Paperclip Day-One Man Traded Up A Red Paperclip for a House!
by Silicon Valley REALTOR Michelle Carr Crowe
Invented sometime in the 1870's, paperclips make sorting papers easier for office workers worldwide.
As defined in www.wikipedia.org, a paperclip is a device used to hold sheets of paper together, usually made of steel wire bent to a looped shape. Most paper clips are variations of the Gem type introduced in the 1890s or earlier, characterized by the almost two full loops made by the wire.
According to the Early Office Museum, the first patent for a bent wire paper clip was awarded in the United States to Samuel B. Fay, in 1867. This clip was originally intended primarily for attaching tickets to fabric, although the patent recognized that it could be used to attach papers together.
The most common type of wire paper clip still in use, the Gem paper clip, was never patented, but it was most likely being produced in Britain in the early 1870s by "The Gem Manufacturing Company". In Norway, paperclips are still referred to as Gems, similar to the way that tissues are often referred to as Kleenex.
One red paperclip is Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald's website where he tracked his trades online, from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of fourteen online trades over the course of a year.
Kyle MacDonald reportedly was inspired by the childhood game Bigger, Better. "A lot of people have been asking how I've stirred up so much publicity around the project, and my simple answer is: 'I have no idea'", he told the BBC.
Here is the list of MacDonald's fourteen trades from the one red paperclip to the house.
- On July 25, 2005, he travelled to Amherst, Massachusetts, with a friend to trade the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
- On September 24, 2005, he went to California, and traded the camp stove for a Honda generator.
- On November 16, 2005, he traveled to Maspeth, Queens and traded the generator for an "instant party": an empty keg, an IOU for filling the keg with the beer of the bearer's choice, and a neon Budweiser sign. This was his second attempt to make the trade; his first resulted in the generator being temporarily confiscated by the New York City Fire Department.
- On December 8, 2005, he traded the "instant party" to Quebec comedian and radio personality Michel Barrette for a Ski-Doo snowmobile.
- Within a week of that, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip to Yahk, British Columbia, scheduled for February 2006.
- On or about January 7, 2006, he traded the second spot on the Yahk trip for a box truck.
- On or about February 22, 2006, he traded the box truck for a recording contract with Metalworks in Mississauga, Ontario.
- On or about April 11, 2006, he traded the contract to Jody Gnant for a year's rent in Phoenix, Arizona.
- On or about April 26, 2006, he traded the year's rent in Phoenix for one afternoon with Alice Cooper.
- On or about May 26, 2006, he traded the afternoon with Cooper for a KISS motorized snow globe.
- On or about June 2, 2006, he traded the snow globe to Corbin Bernsen for a role in the film Donna on Demand.
- On or about July 5, 2006, he traded the movie role for a two-story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.
Today there's a statue of a red paperclip in Bell Park in the city of Kipling, Saskatchewan, near the house where Kyle MacDonald now lives, thanks to one red paperclip.
Folks, I have a handful of colored paperclips-who wants to try to trade up for a San Jose house in Silicon Vallwey, Calif.? What will you trade me for one?
Images courtesy of www.wikipedia.org.
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