History

Interesting paperclip fact #2

I’d previously skipped blogging numbers 1, 2 and 3 in my list of interesting facts about paperclips.

So for anyone unlucky enough to have missed out hearing them from me in person, here’s a chance to fill in on number 2 courtesy of Gizmodo (which also contains a big hint as to what number 1 is):

Today I found out that the paperclip was used as a symbol of resistance during World War II….

German troops were operating in Norway, controlling the population of about 4 million people.

It was in the autumn of 1940 when students at Oslo University started wearing paperclips on their lapels as a non-violent symbol of resistance, unity, and national pride.

Symbols related to the royal family and state had already been banned, and they wanted a clever way of displaying their rejection of the Nazi ideology. In addition to wearing a single paperclip, paperclip bracelets and other types of jewellery were fashioned as well, symbolically binding Norwegians together in the face of such adversity.

Why the paperclip? Besides the idea of binding things together, it’s thought the paperclip was chosen as a symbol of resistance in part because many people incorrectly believed that the inventor of the paperclip was Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian man.

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