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What Year Was the Safety Pin Invented?

A wire with a sharp end is twisted into a circle, and a button is added to fix the tip. The safety pin can be said to be one of the simplest inventions in the world. However, it has many uses, from baby diapers to beautiful fashion decorations, all have its place.


What year was the safety pin invented? The inventor of the safety pin is the American mechanic, Walter Hunter. Outside of work, he is also a highly productive inventor. In addition to safety pins, his inventions include lock sewing machines, flax yarns, nail making machines, knife grinders, small icebreakers, street sweepers, etc. However, despite such genius and creativity, Walter's life was difficult. He was keen to invent, but not for the patents and profits that everyone was chasing at the time, but entirely out of hobby. After inventing the lock sewing machine, he thought for a long time, and finally decided to give up the patent application because he was worried that with this kind of machine, countless sewing women unions would lose their jobs.


As the invention requires financial support, Walter, who lives on the salary of a mechanic, was very embarrassed. The drawings in his patent documents were all drawn by one of his painter friends, and over time, he owed this friend 15 dollars. In order to repay this debt, he sat down one day with an 8-inch-long brass wire, hoping to invent something from it to make money.


In fact, don't be unfamiliar with humans. As early as the 14th century BC, the ancient Greeks produced the first pins. Before zippers and buttons were born, pins were the only tool used by humans to fix clothes. The gorgeous pins are a symbol of identity and status. However, since sharp needles were indeed too dangerous, they were gradually abandoned.


While playing with the wire, Walter wondered if there was any way to make the pin safer. He imagined a button that would protect the needle, but the needle would still easily slip out of the button. Then he tried to twist the brass wire in a small spring-like circle in the center. When he released his hand, the needle would pop up and hold the button, so that the fixed needle would not slip out of the button.


On April 10, 1849, Walter formally applied for a patent for the safety pin. Later, he sold the patent to a 20-year-old young man, William Grace, for $400. This price looks very good, if calculated in terms of purchasing power, it is roughly equivalent to today's 10,000 US dollars. After receiving the 400 dollars, Walter happily returned 15 dollars to his painter friend, and then left the safety pin behind. And the young man William Grace, who bought the safety pin patent, founded Grace Chemical Company in 1854, when he was 22 years old. What Walter never expected was that Grace Chemical Company made millions of dollars in the following years with the invention of the safety pin. Today, this company has become one of the American business giants.

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