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Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Who invented the Safety Pin?

  By GK Planet Team       Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Q. Who invented the Safety Pin?

Walter Hunt

  On April 10, 1849, Hunt was granted US patent #6,281 for his safety pin.

  Walter Hunt (July 29, 1796 – June 8, 1859) was an American mechanic. He was born in Martinsburg, New York. Through the course of his work he became renowned for being a prolific inventor, notably of the lockstitch sewing machine (1833), safety pin (1849), a forerunner of the Winchester repeating rifle, a successful flax spinner, knife sharpener, streetcar bell, hard-coal-burning stove, artificial stone, street sweeping machinery, and the ice plough.

  The safety pin is 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.
Hunt's 1849 patent on the safety pin, U.S. patent #6,281

Silver safety pins

Invention of the safety pin

American mechanic Walter Hunt is regarded as the inventor of the safety pin that bears resemblance to those used today. The safety pin included a clasp that covered the point and kept it from opening and a circular twist at the bend to act as a spring and hold it in place.Charles Rowley (Birmingham, England) independently patented a similar safety pin in October 1849, although the company no longer makes these.

Hunt made the invention in order to pay off a $15 debt to a friend. He used a piece of brass wire that was about 8 inches long and made a coil in the center of the wire so it would open up when released. The clasp at one end was devised in order to shield the sharp edge from the user.

After being issued U.S. patent #6,281 on April 10, 1849, Hunt sold the patent to W. R. Grace and Company for $400 (roughly $10,000 in 2008 dollars). Using that money, Hunt then paid the $15 owed to a friend and kept the remaining amount of $385 for himself. What Hunt failed to realize is that in the years to follow, W.R. Grace and Company would make millions of dollars in profits from his invention
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