Google Doodle marks 131st anniversary of the hole puncher

Alfred Osborne
November 14, 2017

While not quite as indispensable as the stapler, the hole puncher has been a staple of business offices for more than a century.

But back to the hole punch. On the Google home page, the "g" in "Google" has been substituted for a piece of paper, which rejoices as a puncher makes two parallel holes in it.

On the 128th birth anniversary on Tuesday of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, widely celebrated as Children's Day across the country, Google chose to sport a playful Doodle celebrating 131 years of the hole puncher. The newly-formed anthropomorphic paper creature does a happy jig, despite having just had the most uncomfortable surgery performed without anaesthetic. Even though workplaces have evolved over time, this hole puncher has more or less remained unchanged. One patent from 1885 credits a "conductor's punch" to Benjamin Smith.

But eagle-eyed readers will have spotted that was in fact 132-years ago. While the origins of the hole punch is a disputed topic, Google has acknowledged the 1886 patent by German inventor Friedrich Soennecken. It utilizes a lever and spring framework to enable the client to fix up and punch gaps with barrel-shaped edges through stacked sheets of paper easily.

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"It's a familiar scene with a familiar tool: the gentle rat-tat-tat on the table as you square up a dangerously thick stack of papers, still warm from the printer", Google wrote in a blog post.

The doodle appears on the search engine's homepage and shows the Google logo made out of small colourful circles, which Google describes as the "colorful confetti byproduct" on its website.

Google describes the hole puncher as an understated but essential artifact of German engineering.

Now Google has paid tribute to the well-loved tool with an delightful animation. You don't need a hole punch when all your figures and data can be comfortably viewed on a Chromebook's screen.

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