In 1896 Thomas Briggs invented a revolutionary way to bind books together with wire using what later became known as the wire stitcher. Shortly after he founded the Boston Wire Stitcher Company. Production moved to East Greenwich, Rhode Island and employing 80 workers. During World War I, Bostitch was tasked by the US War Department to develop a new machine gun cartridge belt and loading system to improve productivity in ordinance factories. During World War II, Bostitch devoted all of its facilities to the war effort, producing 20,000,000 square yards of camouflage netting and 200,000 Browning Automatic Rifles.