Safety Pin

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Happy International Safety Pin Day

Celebrating the ordinary things

April 10, 2019

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Today is International Safety Pin Day.  It got me wondering why would we even have a Safety Pin Day, so I looked into it. 

As it turns out, we've been using safety pins for thousands of years. Sometime in the 14th or 13th century BC, the Mycenaeans in ancient Greece invented the fibula, an early version of the safety pin, which was a decorative pin they used to keep their tunics together. (No wonder that bone in our leg is called the fibula! It looks just like a safety pin!)

Fast forward to 1849 AD when a guy in New York named Walter Hunt patented the modern version of the safety pin. I like Walter.  He didn't live a fancy life. He was a humble mechanic who simply invented things once in a while as ideas came to him. When he invented the lockstitch sewing machine, he decided not to patent it because he believed it would put seamstresses out of work. What a guy! But he did patent the safety pin because he owed a friend $15. Hunt got $400 for the safety pin patent, paid his friend back and kept the rest. The manufacturer that bought the patent would go on to make millions from his idea. 


And now I know why there's an International Safety Pin Day; I spent a delightful few minutes going down a safety pin wormhole on the internet and learned some sweet facts about an ordinary object and a cool guy. 

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