Founded in 1871 by Johann Ludwig Leitz as a workshop for the manufacture of metal parts for office organizing materials, Leitz is a world-leader in premium office products and maker of the long-iconic Lever Arch File. In the days, the production of office supplies was almost a patent and trademark war. Friedrich Soennecken patented the ring binder in 1886 in Bonn, then there was a French company dominating the market, and to make matters even worst: a former Leitz employee started a business of his own, selling products similar to Leitz’s at cheaper prices.
In 1896 Leitz struck gold and inveted the most iconic ring binder: the Lever Arch File. Leitz introduced the hole in the side of the file to aid removal from crowded shelves and added a sturdy closing clip. This model became the prototype of the ring binders used in German offices for the next century. In such extent that the word ‘Leitz Ordner’ became synonymous with any ring binder. The Stuttgart-based company with an over 125-year-long tradition was acquired by Swedish office supplies maker Esselte in 1998.
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