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Who Invented the Spiral Notebook

Among the necessities of any child’s school supplies are spiral notebooks... but who invented the spiral notebook? The spiral notebook has been around it seems forever. The mess of tearing out pages from these notebooks has always been a nuisance. After you have removed a page, you must pick out all the small pieces of paper that have remained entrapped on the inside of the spiral. Still, let’s examine history and see if we can find any notation as to who invented the spiral notebooks
The best place to look for invention filings is the U.S. patent office. They have a record of every patent that has been filed since its creation. There are other sources available online, but they are not always the most reliable. Many universities have access to the patent listings on file with the U.S. Patent office. You can spend a little time in the local university library and save yourself a lot of aggrevation.
Notebook History
There are many different types of notebooks on the market today. Some are used to hold three hole punched notebook paper while others use a clamp to hold the papers together inside a heavier binding cover.
Regardless of what type you prefer, you have probably seen spiral bound notebooks. These types of notebooks exist in a variety of forms. Some have the spiral running across the top of the short side of the paper, some along the long side of the paper. There are even spiral notebooks that have perforated pages so that when you tear sheets from the notebook it doesn’t leave a mess of tiny paper pieces all over the place.
Spiral Notebook Patents
A quick search of the patent library shows that a man by the name of Edward Podosek applied for a patent on the spiral notebook in 1983. He also applied for a number of other patents for commonly used office supplies. The Patent Storm website claims that Edward was the inventor of spiral notebooks.
Going Back to the Past
A more extensive search of the literature yields an article published in October 1934 in Popular Mechanics. The article describes the spiral notebook. The article describes how to bind notebook paper using a coil spring. This is exactly what a spiral notebook is. Unfortunately, there is no author listed or credit given to anyone for the idea. Using this date as a point of reference, we can go back to the U.S. Patent office and see if anyone applied for a patent for this invention. It just so happens that in the early part of 1935, a patent application was filed for the spiral notebook.
Who Invented the Spiral Notebook?
The application for a patent was filed by W. Walter Grumbacher. The application was filed on March 1, 1935. The title of the patent was, “Binding Construction and Method.” It describes in detail the construction of a spiral bound notebook.
Under the inventor drawings, it notes that Walter Grumbacher was the inventor. It was a patent assigned to the Spiral Binding Co, Inc. of New York, New York. Grumbacher may have signed over the license for this design to the Spiral Binding Co., Inc. Regardless, by searching the old patent records it is possible to find the inventor of a time honored product.
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Careful What you Read
Remember, you need to check out the facts about anything someone tells you. You can’t take their word for it. Many probably believe that Edward Podosek invented the spiral notebook but you have done your homework and know that that isn’t the case. Who invented the spiral notebook isn’t a big deal in the scope of things but the same principle applies to things in life that can have grave consequences if you don’t do your homework and know the truth for yourself.

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