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Safety pins in Spanish are “imperdibles” and they remain one of the most useful inventions in modern times because of the sheer variety of things that you can do with them. If you are curious as to when were safety pins invented, you’re in luck, because we are starting off today’s blog with safety pins history.

Safety pins history

The safety pin as we know it was devised by an American mechanic named Walter Hunt. Hunt invented the safety pin because he had an outstanding debt to a friend that amounted to $15.

Thinking a quicker way to settle the debt, he sat down and thought of what he could do with a piece of brass wire. He probably thought of how people struggled with connecting fabrics, so he came up with an ingenious design for a fastener that was not only self-contained but also provided sufficient protection to the user.

Getting jabbed by pins is not only painful but also poses a risk for diseases like tetanus, so we are quite thankful to Walter Hunt that he developed the precursors of the modern safety pin way before we were born. Now, what happened to the invention once Walter Hunt finished it? Well, he actually went over and patented it on April 10, 1849.

Patenting is done to ensure that ownership of a blueprint of an idea is protected. After patenting his idea, and therefore making sure that it was fully his, he went over to the W.R. Grace and Company to sell the patent to them.

He got a total of $400 for his invention, and the W.R. Grace and Company got to enjoy the first wave of success for Walter Hunt’s invention. While the company is now closed, they started a literal revolution because the safety pin did away with the need to use ballpoint pins and similar pins that could jab you.

Walter Hunt was able to pay off his debt, and he had a handsome sum left over for himself. It was not known if he tried to make money off another design for the safety pin – probably not.

Long before Walter Hunt even existed, similar precursors of the modern safety pin were already in Europe. One particularly interesting precursor was the ancient brooch that they used in Greece back in the 14th century. They used the brooch to tie fabrics together and to hold up their garments – like us.

Neat uses for safety pins

Safety pins aren’t just garment fasteners. There is a bunch of other ways where you can take advantage of its awesomeness. Below are some survival uses of safety pins that you might find handy someday.

  1. Securing all your gear – Larger safety pins can be used to bind two zippers together, as well as provide extra latching to different hanging gear from your backpack. If you want to keep everything intact and if you want to protect your gear from prying hands, use large safety pins to keep everything inside.
  1. Fishing hook – The myth is true – you can use heavy-duty safety pins to lock in your catches for the day. And while there is no substitute for actual fishing hooks, being able to fish in a survival situation just might spell the difference between life and death.

    Try to practice at home so you know what to do when you are in an actual survival situation. Secondly, make sure that you know how to knot a string around a safety pin when you need to fish. Safety pins are stable enough to hold fish as you reel it in.

  1. Create a more organized tackle box – From organizing lures to grouping different fishing hooks, nothing will look more organized than a tackle box with a bunch of safety pins in them. Safety pins are awesome for collecting and creating rows of hooks and other items. Easy on and easy off – that’s the name of the game when you are busy fishing. And we all know how much a pain in the neck a disorganized tackle box can be.
  1. Creating the best emergency shelter – As the name goes, emergencies will not announce that they’re coming – but you can be ready nonetheless. If you carry a pack of large safety pins, tarps, and other insulating materials can be more neatly arranged when you are creating temporary shelters.

    Damaged tent roof? You can make fast repairs with a bit of glue of some safety pins to secure patches or even larger coverings to ensure that no water comes in. It will take a lot of force to even begin to bend a safety pin, so you should be safe using them for mending tents and other types of outdoor shelter.

  1. Fixing your clothing – No matter how tough you are, nature will take its toll if your clothes are damaged. This applies to all sorts of clothing from sweaters to insulators. Obviously, you will need a way to fix your camping clothes or just your clothes should you tear one or more of them. What do you need in these situations is a good bunch of safety pins.
  1. First aid – Where there are bandages, there is a need to secure them. Never remove your safety pins from your first aid kit as you never know when you will be able to use your elastic bandages for injuries.

    Not that we want you to get injured, but when you are camping or hiking, there is always a risk of injury out on the trail, and a fast method of fastening bandages will be at hand if you have a bunch of safety pins in your bag.

  2. Fixing drawstrings – Drawstrings are notorious for slipping out of their places. Whether you’re using hoodies or sweaters, you can use a safety pin to quickly move the loose drawstring/s back to their original places.