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A collection of push-pins in a cork board
A standard pin

A pin is a device used for fastening objects or material together. It is usually made of steel, or on occasion copper or brass. It is formed by drawing out a thin wire, sharpening the tip, and adding a head. Nails are related, but are typically larger.

Contents

History

Curvy pins have been used for over four thousand years. Originally, they were fashioned out of iron and bone by the Sumerians and were used to hold clothes together. Later, these pins were also used to hold pages together by threading the needle through their top corner. [1]

Many late pins were made of brass, a hard metal. Steel was used later, as it was much stronger, but there was no easy process to keep steel from rusting, so higher quality pins were plated with nickel, but the metal would start to break down and flake off in high humidity, allowing rust to form. Steel pins were not that inconvenient for homemaking uses as they were usually only used temporarily while sewing garments.[2]

Other types

The t-pin is a more easily grasped type, with a head made by bending the pin back on itself.

The push pin, with a large plastic head, was invented in 1903 by Edwin Moore and quickly became a success. These pins are also called "thumbtacks".

Walter Hunt invented the safety pin by forming an eight-inch brass pin into a bent pin with a spring and guard. He sold the rights to his invention to pay a debt to a friend,[3] not knowing that he could have made millions of dollars.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Petroski, Henry, "From Pins to Paper Clips", The Evolution of Useful Things, Knopf, New York, 1993, p. 53
  2. ^ Bridgman, Roger. 1000 Inventions & Discoveries. New York: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2002, p. 126
  3. ^ Alfred, R (2008-10-04). "April 10, 1849: Safety Tech Gets to the Point, Baby". Wired. http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2008/04/dayintech_0410#. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 

References

  • Henry Petroski, The Evolution of Useful Things, Chapter 4. ISBN 0-679-74039-2.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Simple English

A pin is an object used to attach something to a surface. It is usually metal or plastic. Pins are usually sharp and are cheap to buy.

It is also a short numerical code used as a password for various accounts, commonly bank accounts.

Other pages

  • Bobby pin
  • Pin (professional wrestling)
  • Hairpin
  • Push pin
  • Cotter pin
  • Clevis pin
  • Safety pin








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