Stair carpet clips

6 November 2019
Recently acquired by the museum is a set of arrow head design ‘XL Grip’ bakelite (phenol formaldehyde) stair clips.  


A mundane but practical everyday item in the 1920s when these examples were produced, they are a reminder of my childhood days when the stair carpet in our 1950s family home was held in place by a chromed metal version, similar to these in design. 

Before the fashion for fully fitted, wall to wall carpeting, stairs were carpeted with a runner which was held in place by stair rods or clips. The practicality of using this system lay in the ability to move the carpet up or down to alleviate the inevitable wear or fading on the ‘nose’ of the carpet – the point at which the carpet turns from the riser to the tread. 


I believe the fashion for stair runners is returning but stair clips or rods are likely to be more of a decorative feature than a practical solution, as carpets are now, more likely than not, to be tacked in place. MoDiP has other examples of bakelite stair clips and a growing range of other domestic fittings made using this ubiquitous material. 

Pam Langdown MoDiP Documentation Officer.