Have you ever stopped to think about where everyday objects come from? From the humble toothbrush to the ubiquitous paper clip, the origins of these items may surprise you. Let’s take a look at the fascinating stories behind some of the most common objects we use every day.

The Toothbrush

Believe it or not, the toothbrush has been around for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians used frayed twigs to clean their teeth, while the Chinese invented the first bristle toothbrush made from hog hair in the 15th century. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the modern nylon bristle toothbrush we know today was invented by Dupont de Nemours.

The Paper Clip

The paper clip is a simple yet indispensable office supply that has been around since the 19th century. The first patent for a bent-wire paper clip was filed in 1867 by Samuel B. Fay, but it wasn’t until the Gem paper clip was introduced in the early 20th century that the design we are familiar with today became popular.

The Zipper

The zipper is another everyday object with a surprising origin. Invented by Whitcomb L. Judson in 1893, the zipper was originally marketed as a fastening device for shoes. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the zipper became widely used in clothing, revolutionizing the way we dress.

The Post-It Note

The Post-It Note is a modern marvel that was invented by accident. In 1968, 3M scientist Spencer Silver was trying to create a super-strong adhesive when he accidentally created a weak, repositionable adhesive instead. It wasn’t until a colleague used the adhesive to stick a bookmark in his hymnal that the idea for the Post-It Note was born.

The Rubber Band

Believe it or not, the rubber band has been around for over a century. Invented in the mid-19th century by British inventor Stephen Perry, the rubber band was originally used as a binding material for bundles of paper. Today, the rubber band is a ubiquitous office supply that is used in a variety of ways.

The Safety Pin

The safety pin is another common object with a surprising history. Invented by American mechanic Walter Hunt in 1849, the safety pin was originally called the “dress pin” and was designed to secure garments. The safety pin has since become a versatile tool that is used for a variety of purposes.


Q: What is the oldest everyday object?

A: The toothbrush is one of the oldest everyday objects, with ancient civilizations using various methods to clean their teeth for thousands of years.

Q: Who invented the paper clip?

A: The first patent for a bent-wire paper clip was filed by Samuel B. Fay in 1867.

Q: How was the zipper invented?

A: The zipper was invented by Whitcomb L. Judson in 1893 as a fastening device for shoes.

Q: Who invented the Post-It Note?

A: The Post-It Note was invented by 3M scientist Spencer Silver in 1968.

Q: Who invented the rubber band?

A: The rubber band was invented by British inventor Stephen Perry in the mid-19th century.

Q: Who invented the safety pin?

A: The safety pin was invented by American mechanic Walter Hunt in 1849.