First Spiral Notebook (Sep, 1934)

Coil springs form flexible bindings for a new type of memorandum books. One edge of the covers and pages of the book are perforated with more than twenty holes and the coil spring is threaded through these holes to make a permanent binding, as shown above.

  1. Boing Boing says: July 15, 200610:51 am

    First spiral notebooks, article from 1934…

    From the October, 1934 edition of Popular Science, this brief news article on the first spiral bound notebooks: Coil springs form flexible bindings for a new type of memorandum books. One edge of the covers and pages of the book are perforated with mor…

  2. ZS says: July 15, 20061:01 pm

    Wow, spiral-bound notebooks are one of those things that I’d imagined had just “always” been around … a world without ’em must have been a dark and sad place indeed what with all them flyaway notes. What a neat article to see; long live the spiral-bound!

  3. […] Here’s a 1934 Popular Science article on the first spiral bound notebook over at Modern Mechanix. […]

  4. Stannous says: July 15, 20068:26 pm

    This is probably just a flash in the pan, never catch on. 3-ring binders were good enough for our ancestors and they’re good enough for us!

  5. strangeknight says: July 16, 200612:21 am

    Actually, I don’t like spiral notebooks. The binding keeps snagging on the other stuff in my bag and once the coils get bent, the pages don’t turn smoothly. Give me stitched and glued notebooks anyday.

  6. […] Modern Mechanix » First Spiral Notebook 1934, apparition du carnet à spirales. 1946, naissance de William Sheller (tags: fétichisme) […]

  7. jcpilman says: July 17, 20065:33 am

    It’s really a helix.

  8. […] Link […]

  9. Dorwin Sayer says: October 31, 20094:16 am

    Was invented by a man by the last name of Dubois in the state of New York near Poughkeepsie.

  10. Firebrand38 says: October 31, 20099:51 am

    Dorwin Sayer: Nonsense and other comments. I’d like to see the source for that assertion.

    Try Walter Grumbacher of New York:…………

  11. It's Mii says: January 28, 20102:46 pm

    Woah, I need more info because me and my friend are doing a science project!!! JK JK JK im kidding

  12. Jaylen says: October 13, 20104:18 pm

    i have some questions..who even invented the notebook? it was quite smart of them. and when was it? and what did people use before the notebook was created.?

  13. Don says: October 14, 20105:01 am

    Not a notebook; it’s a MEMORANDUM BOOK!

  14. Jari says: October 14, 20108:40 am

    Jaylen: For spiral binding, see #10. For legal pads, possibly Thomas W Holley, http://www.legalaffairs… But then again ancient Babylonians used moist clay tablets and triangular stylus a couple of thousand years ago to record crops, merchandise, transactions etc.

  15. Toronto says: October 14, 20106:49 pm

    Jari: I thought the ancient Babylonians used comb binding (…).

  16. Jari says: October 15, 20109:40 am

    Toronto: No no, comb binding was used in the lost continent of Mu. Atlantians, on the other hand, used a one sort of ring binders. http://commons.wikimedi…

  17. Charlie says: October 15, 20103:01 pm

    Toronto: Oh god. I remember trying to use one of those machines. It never ended well.

  18. Toronto says: October 15, 20106:55 pm

    Charlie – yeah, they were a bit of a pain, which is why Kinkos exists today.

    I learned how to use one the same week I learned how to assemble a large Mac publishing system (bought at auction with no manuals), and to use Qark and a few other bits and pieces (a scsi scanner, an Appletalk printer, etc.) Put out a 32 page fake catalog as practice, then mutilated the first copy in the damned punch/binder machine. Once I got the hang of it it was not really much worse than any other weird paper mangling machine.

    At an engineering job I once had, we had a combination shear/punch/stapler/stitcher (it used copper wire.) It had a big treadle you jumped on to cycle it, and the punches rotated on a rack gear as they cut through the paper. It was awesome! No guards, no safety features – just a little trough to catch chads, sharp wire ends, and little bits of fingers and such that got caught in the mech…

  19. Markham says: August 26, 20117:58 am

    Thank you. I was just having a discussion with my friends on why they’re called spiral-bound instead of coil-bound notebooks (it’s not a spiral, it’s a coil!), and a friend suggested ‘I’d always assumed the use of “spiral” for concentric spira and “coil” for transverse spira to be a modern affectation.’

    Well, something must have gone awry if the 1934 marketing copy uses the word ‘coil’ and we have dropped that for an inaccurate term today.

  20. new says: February 1, 20127:14 am

    who manufared the sparel notebook

  21. […] In 1934, a product was created that has yet to be trumped in its incredible power, not by 3D printing, bionic hands, or even self slicing bread. One man had the revolutionary idea to take blank pieces of paper and bind them together with a spiral of twisting metal. Thanks to this pioneer of liberal thinking, today, if you have 79 cents, you can become a god. […]

  22. […] notebook below could be one of the earliest examples of spiral binding, as spiral notebooks were introduced around 1934. I wonder what they mean by it being a “combination theme and note […]

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