Friday, October 19, 2012


Today, October 19, is the anniversary of the death of Henry Tillinghast Sisson.

Regular readers of this blog will know that our friend Henry was a general in the Union Army in the Civil War, a Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island, and he lived just down the road from me in Little Compton. Not at the same time as me, you understand. Old Henry kicked the bucket 102 years ago today, in 1910.

But his lasting contribution to the world is that it was Henry who invented the 3-ring binder.

No. Really.

Where would we be without the 3-ring binder?

Before everyone started storing all their stuff on digital storage devices (or in the "cloud" whatever that is) we kept our stuff in 3-ring binders.

All kinds of stuff. Lecture notes. Tax returns. Technical manuals. Whatever stuff turns you on.

I discovered while watching the television machine on Tuesday evening that some men even have binders full of women! Whatever turns you on dude.

Me, I have binders full of boats. Well, not real boats. Articles about boats that I have clipped from sailing magazines and similar publications over the years. Articles about racing Lasers and tactics and strategy and fitness for sailing and racing rules etc. etc. etc.

My binders full of boats sit on a bookshelf in my man cave.

I hardly ever look at them.

If I want to find out something about boats these days I use the Google.

I really should look at my binders full of boats more often.

I could find interesting stuff in there to blog about, I'm sure.

So on this day, October 19, give thanks for the life of Henry Tillinghast Sisson, inventor of the 3-ring binder.


What's that you say?

You wanted to see a binder full of women?

Oh. All right then.

What do you have in your binders?


Patrick said...

I'm not impressed by Henry Tillinghast Sisson's invention. Here in France we have the 2-ring binder and the magnificently advanced 4-ring binder.

Why would Henry Tillinghast Sisson have thought a 3-ring binder worth inventing?

Tillerman said...

The French always have to be different, don't they?

Patrick said...

Here in France we believe that it is not we, the people of France who are out of step - it is the rest of the world that persists in its obstinate determination to be different from the French!

JP said...

These blinders look get good reviews

O Docker said...

Shopping on Amazon, I think I found out why 3-ring binders are not as popular as they used to be.

O Docker said...

It's amazing how readers of your blog tend to think alike.

Tillerman said...

You are quite correct Patrick. One of the thing that unites most countries of the world is our "obstinate determination to be different from the French."

Vive le cartable à trois anneaux!

JP said...

But not all are equally good at spelling (where's the edit button when you want it?)

Patrick said...

In France we don't keep women in binders, it makes it difficult to share them. Our President sets an excellent example, in this regard

Tillerman said...

True Patrick. I hear your man Dominique Strauss-Kahn also has no difficulty in sharing.

Polyphony said...

T-man, this post almost made me cry. I'm now working for a UN organization in Italy, and they--both international civil servants and Italians--don't use 3-ring binders! It's an abomination. My entire law career was built on binders, and I'm now left with a bunch of sillies who use plastic sleeves to hold papers together (Not fit for purpose, people!), and box binders...they key word being "box," as the binder must always be used with a box, the purpose of which is to hold the papers that inevitably don't stay inside the &@#%%$ ring mechanism ( I cry for the office products of my homeland.

Tillerman said...

So nice to hear from you again Polyphony.

(Regular readers of this blog may recall that I wrote about Polyphony back in 2008, and I think she was a fairly regular commenter on this blog back in those days. Since then she has moved to Italy, married an Englishman and had a baby.)

Your comment made me recall how one misses the most unexpected things about one's homeland when living and working abroad. For me it has mainly been various English foods that aren't readily available in the US. But I can completely understand why Americans may not fully appreciate how wonderful 3-ring-binders are until they have to do without them.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure that "Binder Full of Women" was the name Mark Zuckerberg originally called Facebook.

Post a Comment