Created in the style of pop art
ists Claes Oldenburg
and Coosje van Bruggen
, there is a giant paperclip on the Sandvika
campus of the Norwegian School of Management
Norwegian Johann Vaaler filed a patent for the first paper clip in 1899, registering it in Germany because Norway had no patent laws of its own. In 1901 he received an American patent for his invention, even though a Massachusetts man had patented the Konaclip, with a very similar design, the year before. Vaaler dropped out of the public eye shortly thereafter, but his paper clip became extremely important to Norwegians less than 50 years later. While Norway was occupied by German forces during the Second World War, the country's residents identified each other by attaching paper clips to their clothes in a daring expression of solidarity and patriotism.
Around 1990, several Norwegians decided to honor Vaaler by erecting a monument to him. The sculpture that resulted is completely accurate and entirely functional, despite being twenty-two feet tall and weighing 1,320 pounds. Made from steel tubing, it sits on a six-ton concrete base and may be seen in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph at http://web.bi.no/www/webfiles.nsf/Lookup/sandvika_dag_02/$file/sandvika_dag_02.jpg.