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History on 17th March

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Rubber Band Patented

The 17th of March 1845 AD

More than a century and a half after the event, with rubber bands a commonplace of our office and home existence, it may seem strange that so simple a thing could be patented. But in 1845 that was not of course the case. Stephen Perry of St John’s Wood and his business partner the wonderfully named Thomas Barnabas Daft, from Birmingham , already engaged in manufacturing other articles made possible by the recent advance in rubber technology, vulcanization, applied for British patent 13880 (1845): “For Improvements in Springs to be applied to Girths, Belts, and Bandages, and Improvements in the Manufacture of Elastic Bands.”
Postmen thank them for making it easier to secure envelopes in order, though they are not sufficiently grateful to avoid dropping them on their rounds. Likewise works’ storemen and shopkeepers have reason to be thankful for a simple method of instantly binding small items together. But most of all schoolboys through the decades since 1845 have found surely the best uses for Perry and Daft’s invention: the diligent among them to launch balsa wood gliders; the mischievous to fire them at friends.

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From eric luong on 3rd December 2012
I am a third grade student in search for the birth and death date of Stephen Perry, inventor of the rubber band. I would be grateful if you could help me in this matter. Sincerely, Eric Luong

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On this day:
Deadly Storm Changes UK Coastline - 1287, Glasgow Subway Opens - 1896, Women Can Vote in General Election - 1918, The Clash Release London Calling - 1979
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