Only the highlights appear in these highlighter facts!

  • Highlighters are stationery items in the form of a pen, used to highlight, or mark, text.
  • Highlighter ink is typically brightly coloured, often fluorescent, and see-through.
  • Highlighters typically come in colours of yellow, blue, green, pink, orange and purple, although the most prevalent colour is yellow.
  • Highlighters are similar to a felt-tip pen, except they contain a different ink.
  • Highlighters are believed to have been invented by the United States’ Carter’s Ink Company in 1963, and were called a Hi-Liter, soon after Yukio Horie, from Japan, had invented the water-based marker the year prior.

Highlighter, multiple, colourful, Pen, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange, Ten Random Facts, Stationary, Invention

  • Yellow coloured highlighters are generally not visible on a photocopied document of a highlighted original.
  • Different colours of highlighters can be used to organise groups of ideas or texts.
  • Highlighters can be stacked together, waxy, retractable, three in one, take the form of a pencil, or have non-seeping ink.
  • A dry line highlighter is a tape that is applied to the page, and has the advantage that it can be erased without much difficulty.
  • Digital documents can be highlighted by selecting text, in a similar way to standard highlighting.


Highlighter, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highlighter
Greenbaum H & Rubinstein D, The Hand-held Highlighter, 2012, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/magazine/the-hand-held-highlighter.html?_r=1



Versatile stencils!

  • Stencils are art, craft or stationery items used to imprint designs on a surface with the use of paint or other medium, and are generally made from plastic, paper or metal sheets, although other materials can be used.
  • Stencils are typically reusable, as long as they can be removed from surfaces and don’t break.
  • Stencil designs often have an inner section to the design, called an ‘island’, that will be a loose piece, unless attached by a small portion of stencil material, known as a ‘bridge’.
  • Stencils are an ancient innovation, and hands or other objects were painted over in cave paintings thousands of years ago.
  • Home-use stencils are common, often used for neat painting and decorating features on walls or furniture, and are commonly used in craft related hobbies for embossing, painting and decorating, or lettering.

Stencil, Lettering, Used, White, Blue, Vehicles, Red, Green, Single, Lots, Template, Ten Random Facts

  • Stencils are used by government, business and military organisations, often to letter objects, signs or vehicles.
  • Stencils for children are commonly available, which enables them to draw basic or more detailed shapes or letters, and gives them the opportunity to be creative by filling in more details, or colouring the shape.
  • Stencils were historically used by Eskimos and Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Chinese, Greeks and Japanese, while some of the materials used were cloth, leaves and animal skin.
  • Throughout history, stencils were commonly used for mass production, for clothing, religious art and wall designs among others.
  • Today, stencils are often used professionally by artists especially for screen printing and airbrushing, and some graffiti artists use them for their unique and ‘political’ look.


Gilbert M, The History of Stencilling, 2014, EHow, http://www.ehow.com/about_5380158_history-stenciling.html
History of Stencilling, 2011, Royal Design Studio Stencils, http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/blogs/how-to-stencil/3763542-history-of-stenciling
Stencil, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stencil



Tap, tappety, tap-tappety tap.

  • Typewriters are machines that print carbon or ink characters on paper, requiring input from a person by pressing buttons, and are mechanically or electro-mechanically driven.
  • Most typewriters were replaced by word processors and computers by the late 1980s, although they are still in use in developing countries, as well as in prisons due to the ban of computers.
  • Typewriters were commonly used in offices and sometimes in homes, for the purpose of typing letters, documents, and other information.
  • The first typewriter ever invented was possibly by Englishman Henry Mill in 1714, for which he received a patent, and other early typewriters include inventions by Pelligino Turri, an Italian, in 1808 who also invented carbon paper, and William Austin Burt, an American who is most commonly credited for the invention of the typewriter, in 1829.
  • Fast typists can type around 100 words a minute on a manual typewriter, although records have been set for more than 150 words a minute.

Typewriter, Black, Old, QWERTY, Museum, Ten Random Facts, Invention

  • Typewriters generally require the manual insertion of a sheet of paper, and when the end of a page is reached, it is removed, and a new piece of paper is inserted into the machine.
  • Due to the permanency of the printing, typewriters would require a high level of typing accuracy, with competitions deducting points for inaccuracy, although mistakes could be erased with an abrasive hard rubber, or correction fluid, and various other means were also employed.
  • Thomas Edison invented the first electric style typewriter in 1870, which used an electrical input to type remotely, however the technology was not widely used until decades later.
  • The typically used English QWERTY keyboard layout on typewriters, known as the ‘Sholes’ or ‘Universal’ keyboard, were originally arranged by Sholes & Glidden typewriters in 1874, and are said to be laid out so that the most commonly used keys were separated to decrease the likelihood of jamming from fast typing.
  • The word ‘typewriter’ is generally considered the longest English word (10 letters), that only uses one row of the QWERTY keyboard layout, although a flower, ‘rupturewort’ can beat that record (11 letters).


Typewriter, 2014, Wikipedia, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Typewriter>
Typewriters, 2014, Mary Bellis, http://inventors.about.com/od/tstartinventions/a/Typewriters.htm


Binder Clip

Binder clips are binding necessities.

  • Binder clips are small stationery items that can grip onto other objects or hold objects together, typically paper, and can be easily removed.
  • A binder clip’s body is generally a triangular prism shape made of spring steel, with attached metal wire loops that are used as handles for opening and closing the body.
  • Binder clips typically range from 0.5 to 5 centimetres (0.2 to 2 inches) in body size.
  • Binder clips are typically used for temporarily grouping many sheets of paper together, but they can also be used as bookmarks, money clips, and holding objects in place, among others.
  • It is believed that binder clips were originally invented by American Louis E Baltzley, for his father who was a writer, in USA’s Washington D.C. in 1910, and he received a patent for the invention in 1915.

binder Clip, black, large, small, assorted, Bulldog, Ten Random Facts, Stationary

  • Binder clips’ bodies are typically black in colour, but can range in colours and styles, and can include coloured patterns.
  • The original 1910 clip design is very similar to the one used today, and it is said that the first company to manufacture binder clips were the L.E.B Manufacturing Company.
  • ‘Binder clips’ are also known as ‘banker’s clips’, ‘foldback clips’, ‘foldover clips’, ‘bulldog clips’ and ‘handbag clips’.
  • Binder clip handles typically can face upwards or downwards, or they can be removed to make the clip more permanent.
  • Binder clips are often used as a paperclip alternative as they have a better grip and are rust resistant, and with one handle up, the clip can hang papers from a hook.


Binder Clip, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binder_clip
Pash A, Our Favourite Office Objects: The Endlessly Versatile Binder Clip, 2010, Life Hacker, http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2010/09/our-favourite-office-objects-the-endlessly-versatile-binder-clip/


Tape Measure

What would you do with out a tape measure?

  • Tape measures are rulers that are flexible and are used for measuring.
  • ‘Tape measures’ are also known as ‘measuring tapes’.
  • Tape measures are primarily very long rectangles made of metal, plastic, cloth or fibreglass, or sometimes paper, that include markings in increments according to a specific system of measurement.
  • Tape measures are typically used in tailoring or construction, the latter often using metal tapes.
  • Tape measures are typically stored rolled in a circle, and sometimes they retract into small containers, and these types of tape measures were originally referred to as ‘spring-click tapes’ and are now commonly called ‘retractable tape measures’.

Tape measure, Metric, yellow, White, Metal, Construction, Tailor, Blue, Purple, Fibreglass, Ten Random Facts, Measuring Tape, Three

  • Metal tape measures used for construction purposes are semi rigid when extended, typically have a perpendicular metal tab to hook onto objects, and sometimes they include specific markings to mark out trusses and studs in house construction.
  • Englishman, James Chesterman from Sheffield, invented, or improved upon, the retractable tape measure in 1829, which was successfully patented, and then later improved upon by Alvin Fellows in Connecticut’s New Haven, in the United States, on 14 July, 1868.
  • The longest tape measure in the world is gold plated and was made in 1956 by a surveyor and tape-maker, Justus Roe, and it measures 180 metres (600 feet).
  • Tape measures are often double sided, with metric measurements on one side, and imperial on the other.
  • Retractable tape measures usually have a stop mechanism so that they tape can be extended and held into position, and then released with the press of a button.


Tape measure, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tape_measure
What is a Tape Measure?, 2014, WiseGEEK, http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-a-tape-measure.htm


Rubber Band

Do not stretch the rubber band or it will… SNAP… too late.

  • Rubber bands are typically circular bands that stretch and are generally used to hold groups of items as one, or holding items in position.
  • It is said that the biggest consumer of rubber bands on earth is the US Postal Service that use them to sort and group mail, and they are also used in the floral industry and newspaper delivery services, and for holding other items together, like cut asparagus and other food stalks; pens and pencils and decks of cards.
  • ‘Rubber bands’ are also known as ‘elastic bands’, ‘lackey bands’, ‘laggy bands’, ‘binders’, and ‘elastic’.
  • Modern rubber bands were invented by the Englishman Stephen Perry, a businessman and inventor, that were patented on 17 March, 1845 in England.
  • Rubber bands are made from natural rubber (latex) or synthetic rubber, although they are generally manufactured with natural rubber due to the increased elasticity in this product.

Rubber band. elastic, small, assorted, blue, red, thick, large, brown, tan , yellow, Ten Random Facts

  • Rubber bands release heat energy when stretched, but absorb heat energy when retracted.
  • Rubber bands are found in many different sizes, shapes, colours and stretchiness, and can be larger than 43 cm (17 inches) or as small as 3 mm (1/8 inch), although they typically range from 3 to 18 centimetres (1.25 to 7 inches) in length.
  • In Britain, the use of rubber bands by the Britain’s Royal Mail postal service has caused significant media attention in the country, due to the large quantity of elastic bands found discarded on the ground everyday, so much so, that at one stage they changed the bands from brown, to red, to make them more visible, and therefore more likely to be picked up by postal workers.
  • Rubber bands are created by heating a mixture of rubber, sulfur and other chemicals into strips, that are then extruded into tubes, cured and cut into bands.
  • Rubber strips, similar to rubber bands, were first historically made by the Maya people, Aztecs and other Mesoamericans thousands of years ago.


Roux G, The Birth of the Humble Rubber Band, 2013, Sciencelens, http://sciencelens.co.nz/2013/03/17/rubber-band/
Rubber band, 2014, Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubber_band
Berlow L H, Rubber Band, 2014, How Products are Made, http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Rubber-Band.html


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