Stair clips

Case AIBDC: 005528

A set of 22 compression moulded, phenol formaldehyde stair carpet clips, in an Art Deco style. Each clip has two parts: one is drilled to accommodate a screw for fixing to the stair riser, the other slots into it, trapping the carpet in place.

Chosen for 10 Most Wanted because we knew there was a patent and we hoped this would get people going.They also received a Good Housekeeping award, which we thought might provide a lead.

Contributing agents

Rupert Radcliffe, Anonymous Agent, Stephen Hill & Rosemary Phillips

What we wanted to know & what we found out

  • Designer: Ernest Harrison
  • Date: 1932

Evidence trail

  • Patent
  • History website
  • Private collection
  • Personal testimony

The hunt


Agent Radcliffe found the patent was taken out by Ernest Harrison, of Lathom Street, Bury on 10 September 1932.



A futher 9 patents dated between 1938-1952 all related to curtains, carpets and home maintenance linking the Byson Appliance Company and E. Harrison were also found, but we did not know Harrison's role. Was he owner, designer or both?

History Website

An anonymous agent found that the stairclips were exhibited at both the 1937 White City British Industries Fair:

Private Collection

Agent Hill shared his private collection of these stair clips with the other players.


Stair clips

Personal testimony

HQ Staff member, Technical Officer Blume, came across a Canadian website written by Rosemary Phillips in which she tells of her grandfather, Ernest Harrison, inventing a bread slicer in 1927 and this being the "beginning of an inventors creative career". He emailed her to ask if she knew of any connection between her grandfather, Ernest Harrison, and the Ernest Harrison of Bury, Lancashire, who patented the stair clip design. She replied in the affirmative and provided considerable supporting material which you can see here and herself became a 10 Most Wanted agent.