Ahh, the venerable, tank-like Bostitch B5 stapler. I remember using these in school back in the 1970’s, but the version that my school used was the battleship grey wrinkle painted ones from the 50’s. Interestingly, Bostitch seems to have followed the painting scheme used by Royal typewriters, where they used black wrinkle paint in the late 30’s through the 1940’s, then switched to grey wrinkle around the same time Royal did in 1950.
Another one of those $1 finds at Deseret Thrift, the B5 would normally be a stapler I’d pass right over despite my fond school memories, because they’re really common. I was stopped in my tracks by what I saw on the bottom of the machine:
Yep, a DEALER STICKER! First one I’ve seen on a stapler, this reads:
Sargent – Bostitch
424 Ness Bldg.
W-1006 Salt Lake City
That 4-digit phone number, along with the lack of floorplate “Bostitch” stamp (a 1940’s addition to the design) suggests that this is a very early model, sold between the model’s introduction after 1933 to about 1940.
As stated before, these B5 machines are built like tanks, and this one still works great, although the anvil can only do interfold stapling, it can be opened for tacking via a small lever under the main arm that’s not especially easy to get at when it’s closed.
When it comes to feeding the Bostitch B5, that’s an easy task. It takes standard style modern staples and you simply grip the chromed front plate and pull up and forward to open the magazine: