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February 20, 2017 AT 3:00 pm

The Long, Slightly Strange History Behind Fingernail Clipping

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It’s always the tiniest, least contemplated objects that hold such long and interesting stories.

From Atlas Obscura.

Around 1875, patents for the modern nail clipper began to appear, with the first such trimmer, designed by a man named Valentine Fogerty, though the design of his device could best be described as a circular nail file rather than a keratin clip. The first design in the USPTO’s files that I could find with anything in common with modern designs came from inventors Eugene Heim and Oelestin Matz, who were granted a patent for a clamp-style fingernail clipper in 1881. (These days, standard nail clippers are so common that any patents on them have long since faded away, though that hasn’t stopped new variations from being created, much like with the umbrella. Who hasn’t ever wanted a nail clipper that automatically stores your nail clippings?)

Read more.


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