History has it that ring binders were first invited by a German entrepreneur and inventor Friedrich Soennecken in 1886. He was an office supplier in his home town and was keen on creating his on inventions. He registered a patent for his design which was of a 2-ring mechanism that would open and close using a lever. By pulling the lever up the rings would open, and then close when you push the lever down. Soennecken would later also invent and registered a patent for his hole punching invention. Of course, this hole puncher was in a part the result of his ring binder invention because holes needed to be punched into papers in order for them to be inserted into the binders.
In the US, loose-leaf paper was becoming a popular thing in the 1854. Instead of notebooks, people started using loose-leaf papers because they thought it was more convenient. It didn't take too long for those same people to realize that using loose-leaf paper was actually more inconvenient - especially when the papers accumulate over time and people started losing pages. They needed something to organize these loose papers, and that is when Henry T. Sisson from Providence, Rhode Island came up with his ring binder designer. He recognized the need for something to protect and organize these papers. It wasn't until 1899 when he finally perfected his design and a binder was available for purchase on the market. The Chicago Binder and File Company was one of the first companies to sell binders. There were 2 types of designs – a 2-ring binder and a 3-ring binder. Most were selling 2-ring binders in the beginning but later more 3-rings were sold because it did a better job of holding papers in place.
1899 ad from the Chicago Binder and File Company
Over these 100+ years, binders have changed tremendously. Original binders were made from heavy cardboard-like material and their rings were made of cold rolled steel. First it was the 2-ring design, and then there was the 3-ring. The Swedish also came up with a 4-ring design of their own. And now today there are even binders with multiple rings (spiral binders), and ones that don’t use rings (post-bound or strap-hinge binders). Now we have binders made in all sorts of materials like plastics, cardboards, metals, fabrics, etc. In the past, because loose leaf paper was only available in letter size so therefore binders were only made in that size. Today binders are available in all types of sizes as different size loose leaf papers became available. We have small ones like 5.5x8.5, to even bigger ones like13x19 and 14x17. What’s also different with binders today is that they are not only for storing loose leaf paper anymore. They can be used for various different purposes. Some people use them for photo albums, some for portfolios, some of organizing business cards, some of CDs – basically binders have become something of a multi-purpose storage/organization tool.
Here are 10 ways to use ring binders (and which ideal Keepfiling size binder should you use for this purpose):
- Paper organizer – this can be at home, in the office, or at school.
(Letter Size Binder is the most common for this purpose, sometimes Legal Size Binder as well)
- Photo albums – organize old or new photos in a binder for viewing.
(Mini 5.5x8.5 Binder fits this purpose well)
- Scrapbooks – for those arts and crafts enthusiast who enjoys the art of scrapbooking.
- Music binder – musicians often need a binder to organize their scores.
(9x12 Music Binder)
- Portfolios – to display any type of creative work like paintings, posters, architecture drawings.
(11x14 Binder, 17x11 Binder, 11x17 Binder, 14x17 Binder)
- Homeschool binder – a lot of homeschool parents use binders to help organize their materials.
(Mini Binders - especially great for Classical Conversation cards, Letter Size Binders)
- CD/DVD organizer – no more bulky jewel boxes for all your discs. Organize them into a binder to save space.
(CD Binders, Letter Size Binder)
- Cookbook – recipes are an important part of a household. Organize your recipes with binders and make yourself an easy to use cookbook.
(Mini Binder, Letter Size Binder)
- Business card organizer – with the right kind of business card sheet protectors you can use a binder or organize all the business cards you collect.
(Letter Size Binder)
- Collection binder – again, with the right type of sheet protectors, you can use a binder to organize any of your collections like stamps, coins, cards, etc.
(Any Keepfiling binder would work as long as it fits the size of the sheet protectors you purchase for your collection)