Fasteners are nothing new here in the Archives. We see them everywhere in the records. From the dreaded desiccated rubber-band and rusty staple to the modern binder clip and plastic paper clip. Sometimes we even find straight pins or actual “red tape” ribbon holding papers together. But today we found a unique fastener with a tie to history that goes beyond its document.
During World War II, nearly everything that could possibly aid the war effort was heavily rationed or simply unavailable to civilians, including sugar, meat, silk, metal, rubber and gasoline. This encouraged American ingenuity to design products to fill the voids left in the production lines. Apparently by 1945 when this couple was granted a divorce, even metal file clips were considered to be a misuse of precious resources.
The clip looks to be pressed cardboard, nearly identical in form to its metal counterparts. Only the sliding bands on the back are metal. Thankfully, this thin case file hasn’t seen much use in the last 69 years so the fastener is in great condition. It may not have held up quite so well in a thick or often accessed file.