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Today in Heritage History, March 17, 1845, the rubber band* is patented by Stephen Perry of London. Young Mr. Perry never received the telegram granting him patent rights until some time later. He had been grounded to his room for several days by his mother with, “I’ll tell you what mister ‘aren’t-I-important-patent-pending’, if you shoot another one of those things at your little brother and put an eye out, you’ll be looking for another place to live”.

* The Association of Catholic Bishops responded quickly and declared that “rubber-banding” was ALSO not an acceptable form of male birth control or contraception.