Joanna MacKay


About Whirly Bin

After living in Washington D.C. for several wonderful and formative years, I decided to leave the world of politics, a love of mine, and pursue a more creative side to my own life, liberty and happiness. Whirly Bin is the result of this pursuit. It was started out of a love of paper, a passion for color and design and how these elements come together in inspiring ways. I am happy to share a few clever stationery products that I positively love with you. With an ever-expanding array of products, Whirly Bin is a collection of a few of my favorite things. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

What's In the Name?

Where did the name Whirly Bin come from? Well, when I first started working on Capitol Hill and learning the ropes, my co-worker told me that she would take me down to see the Whirly Bin but that I couldn't touch it. Others looked at me knowingly in silence. They all knew about the Whirly Bin and most likely they had never touched it either. My interested was peaked! What was the Whirly Bin and why couldn't I touch it?

We walked down the long marble hallway of the House Office Building to one of the storage rooms. When the lights flickered on, I saw it! I had never seen anything like it before. In front of me stood a less-than-fashionable, wall-length system of metal drawers that held paper copies of legislative bills, hundreds of them. To get to a particular drawer you had to punch in buttons on a keypad; the Whirly Bin would fire up and slowly start spinning the drawers around until it landed on the one selected. Definitely a clever contraption created before the onslaught of advanced technology.

This particular Whirly Bin is one of the last remaining ones on Capitol Hill. There are a decreasing number of people who use them and an even smaller number of people who know how to repair them. I guess this is why seeing the Whirly Bin comes with the stipulation of no touching. It is a rare species that left quite an impression on my imagination and why there couldn't be a better name for my paper store.
Whirly Bin - A Place for Paper.

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