When Made in the U.S.A. Meant Something!


The above stapler was purchased in October 1972, and worked perfectly for almost 45 years until March 2017 when it finally gave out.  Over the last few years I have purchased many staplers for the office, and many lasted less than one year including Swingline staplers.  If you look at the bottom of the stapler from 1972, you will see Swingline, Inc. L.I.C., N. Y.   For you non-New Yorkers, L.I.C. stood for Long Island City.  An article in the New York Times on January 17, 1999 chronicled the closing of the factory.   In the article there was an interesting couple of sentences which are as follows:  “When Swingline closes completely, 450 jobs will be gone. That is the largest single job loss in New York City from the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, the 1994 pact that lowered trade barriers among the United States, Mexico and Canada.”   Read the article, it all sounds familiar and it was written over 17 years ago!  I now have a new Swingline stapler which says on the bottom “Made to Swingline Standards in China.”   I guess they must have lowered their standards.   A sad commentary on a once iconic American brand.

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