Posted by: viewfromtheriva | January 15, 2012

In praise of everyday items built to last

1940's vintage Roma stapler

A stapler is something so simple.  But why oh why does it drive us so crazy? Jamming, sending staples flying in every direction when we open it–aaargggh! Whether it’s a Swingline or a Bostitch, unless you spend $50 for an industrial strength version, they’re enough to drive anyone crazy.

So when I came across this 1940’s vintage Roma for $1, an all metal beauty with wonderful internal sliding steel mechanics (no flimsy spring pressing a flimsy bar to keep the staples in line!) I couldn’t believe my luck.

Typical spring action stapler

Just compare a “new” stapler to the much more mechanically precise Roma.  Instead of a thin metal piece to keep the staples in line held by a flimsy spring, the Roma has a solid steel shaft presses the staples forward and another metal movement that fits snugly inside the handle so that when you press down, everything is uniformly tight and perfectly aligned.  No jams!

The Ferrari of staplers, look Ma, no springs!

And the Roma looks as beautiful as it works.  The company has been around since 1919 and it’s still a family business making staplers and other mechanical products used in fastening.  The name Roma is actually a contraction of the first two letters of the founder’s first and last name:  Romeo Maestri & Figli.

The company’s building was destroyed during the Second World War, but its customers were so loyal that they paid for new orders in advance to help the company rebuild once the war was over.  No wonder this stapler works so well after a half century of use!

The "brand" name of the stapler is Arely

Now instead of cursing a stapler and tearing a finger trying to pry a stuck stapler out of the mechanism, I smile.

From my fabulous 11 jewel mechanical wind up 1960’s Sputnik inspired Russian alarm clock to a three tined hoe from the 1920’s I used as a kid to rake through our vegetable beds, the more I use well made everyday mechanical tools, the more I appreciate the skills and dedication to craftsmanship that’s so easy to forget in today’s buy-a-new-one-when-you-get-bored world.

1960's Slava 11 jewel windup alarm clock

Enjoy our new Croatian vacation portal

Read more about Croatia at secret dalmatia’s unique blog

Coming to Split?



  1. awesome!

  2. would you like to see a picture of my ro-ma stapler?

  3. I think blogs like this are great, Good Job!

  4. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

    • thanks….really enjoyed discovering this product, glad you appreciate it to too!

  5. That is really fascinating,
    I’ve joined your rss feed and look ahead to in the hunt for extra of your wonderful
    post. Additionally, I’ve shared your website in my social networks

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