Spindle (stationery)

A spindle (or colloquially, a spike) is an upright spike used to temporarily hold papers. "Spindling" or "spiking" is the act of spearing an item onto the spike. A spindle was often used in restaurants to hold orders from the waitstaff to the kitchen.[1]

A spindled paper

Depending on what sort of records were on a spindle, a string could be put through the holes to bundle the papers together, and the bundle stored.[2]

The journalistic term to "spike" an article refers to one that ends up spindled on an editor's desk rather than forwarded for publication, typically for reasons other than mere copyedits.[3]

Spindling was the middle of three stern prohibitions in the famous injunction historically printed on punched card documents to be processed by computer: "Do not fold, spindle, or mutilate".[2]


  1. ^ Porter, Elias H. (May 1962). "The Parable of the Spindle". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Steven Lubar: "'Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate': A Cultural History of the Punch Card". Journal of American Culture (1991)
  3. ^ "Spike It! When the Media Kill a Story for Political Reasons | RealClearPolitics". realclearpolitics.com. Retrieved 2 July 2021.