Who coined the phrase “the survival of the fittest”?

Herbert Spencer.
Spencer was an engineer, philosopher, and psychologist, who in his day was as famous as Darwin.

He first coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” in his Principles of Biology (1864), having been inspired by Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

Darwin paid him the compliment of using it himself in the fifth edition of The Origin of Species in 1869, commenting: “I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term natural selection, in order to mark its relation to man’s power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer, of the Survival of the Fittest, is more accurate, and is sometimes equally convenient.”

Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was the eldest of nine children, all the rest of whom died in infancy. Trained as a civil engineer, he became a philosopher, psychologist, sociologist, economist, and inventor. He sold more than a million books in his lifetime and was the first to apply evolutionary theory to psychology, philosophy, and the study of society.

He also invented the paper clip. The device was called Spencer’s Binding Pin and waas produced on a modified hook-and-eye machine by a manufacturer called Ackermann whose offices were on the Strand in London.

It did well in its first year, making Spencer £70, but demand dried up, Ackermann shot himself, and the invention had entirely disappeared by 1899 when the Norwegian engineer Johann Vaaler filed his patern for the modern paperclip in Germany.

During the World War II, paper clips were an emotive symbol of Norwegian resistance to the German occupation, worn on the lapel in place of the forbidden badges of the exiled King Haakon VII. A giant paper clip was later erected in Oslo in Johann Vaaler’s memory.

Today, more than 11 billion paper clips are sold annually, but a recent survey claimed that of every 100,000 sold, only five are actually used to hold papers together. Most are adapted as poker chips, pipes cleaners, safety pins, and toothpicks. The rest are dropped and lost, or bent out of shape during dull or awkward phone calls.

From: “The Book of General Ignorance
everything you think you know is wrong”
by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, p:122