Sunday, April 10, 2011

Origin of the Safety Pin

The origin of the safety pin dates back to the Mycenaeans (Greece) during 14th century BC. They are known as brooches or fibulae (singular fibula) and were used in the same manner as modern day safety pins. 

The safety pin was reinvented by American inventor Walter Hunt (1796–1859), and patented in April 10, 1849. He thought little of the safety pin, selling the patent for a paltry sum of $400 (roughly $10,000 in 2008 dollars) to the company W R Grace and Company, to pay a man to whom he owed $15.

Walter Hunt was an mechanic in New York state. Through the course of his work he became renowned for being a prolific inventor, notably of the sewing machine (1833), safety pin (1849), a forerunner of the Winchester repeating rifle, knife sharpener, streetcar bell, hard-coal-burning stove, street sweeping machinery, the velocipede (bicycle forerunner), and the ice plow.

(Source: Wikipedia; photo credit: Saety pin, patent 6281, U.S. Patent Office - inventor Walter Hunt, Wikipedia)

Today, we celebrate the invention of the safety pin!

A safety pin is a simple fastening device, a variation of the regular pin which includes a simple spring mechanism and a clasp. The clasp serves two purposes: to form a closed loop thereby properly fastening the pin to whatever it is applied to, and to cover the end of the pin to protect the user from the sharp point.

Safety pins are commonly used to fasten pieces of fabric or clothing together. They are widely used to fasten cloth diapers (nappies), as the safety clasp prevents the baby from being jabbed. Similarly, they can be used to patch torn or damaged clothing. Safety pins can also be used as an accessory or jewelry, such as earrings, chains, and wristbands. Sometimes they are used to attach a embroidered patch.

(Source: Wikipedia; photo credit: Safety pin, photo taken by Haragayatoin Japan, Wikipedia)

Today's celebrations

APRIL 10th has a bunch of celebrations to consider:
National Cinnamon Croissant (Crescent) Day ^
National Egg Salad Week (2nd week)
National Farm Animals Day
National Siblings Day
Encourage a Young Writer Day
Commodore Perry Day
Salvation Army Founder's Day
National Golf Day (Golfer's Day): 
The first professional golf tournament was held on this day (1916)
Humane Day: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
was established on this date in 1866
The "unsinkable" RMS Titanic departs on it's maiden voyage 
from Southampton, England (1912)
Anniversary of the Safety Pin's Patent *
Christian Feast Day: Fulbert of Chartres, James, Azadanus and Abdicius, 
William of Ockham (Church of England)
St. Hedda's Day
Care Sunday (UK)

(* in posts, previously or to follow)
(^ Photo credit: