The safety pins meaning hasn’t changed for decades and the various types of safety pins we have now are still being used for their original uses since the time they were first introduced. The meaning of safety pins (symbolic) can change depending on the context of how they are worn. Some people or groups wear safety pins to promote their causes and the meaning depends on what the group is about.
A safety pin is actually a modification of the regular pin, as it has a spring mechanism and a holder that locks the pinpoint into place. They come in different varieties, too. The ones that are designed to lock nappies or cloth diapers in place come with extra safe covers, to prevent the sharp point from potentially harming the skin.
Getting jabbed is still a big concern with users, especially if the user is a baby or a child. Safety pins can also be used in accessorizing. Since they can be interlocked with each other and come in a variety of lengths and types, some DIY craftspeople have used safety pins to create beautiful crafts that are made with laces, beads, and crafting glue.
The more practical use for them, of course, would still be to help close or temporarily mend damaged clothes. You can use safety pins to attach patches to existing clothing or to make adjustments to the length or size of existing garments.
Let’s say that you want to change the length of a pair of pants that are too long, you can use a larger safety pin to reduce the length from the hem of the pants. The much larger pins that are gauge four and above are used as kilt pins for different kinds of informal clothing, like dresses, and may be used daily depending on the user’s preferences. Historically, the safety pin’s precursor is the Greek fibula, which looks a lot like pins and is used pretty much the same way.
Today, there are so many endless varieties of straight pins and safety pins that it can be difficult to choose the ones you really like or need. What we recommend is that you choose a safety pin or set of pins depending on your needs.
For example, if you are interested in learning dressmaking, you may want to focus on safety pins of a higher gauge that can hold together thicker fabrics. If you have a baby at home, the safety pins you should be buying should have plastic clasps and should be generally bigger, with less sharp ends so they won’t jab the skin of the wearer. For general purpose applications of safety pins, you’d be good with a combination of metal safety pins and plastic safety pins.
History of safety pins
The Amazon safety pins that you see online were actually created by an American mechanic named Walter Hunt. Walter is considered formally as the inventor of the modern metal safety pin. He was the first person to design the precursor of the colored safety pins that are so common now throughout the world. Walter Hunt actually applied for a patent for his invention, and the patent was granted to him in 1849. Thanks to Walter, we now have an awesome way to secure fabrics and perform excellent sewing without making mistakes.
Interestingly enough, this American mechanic was able to create this universally useful safety pin because he had to pay off a debt of $15. In the same year, an Englishman with the names of Charles Rowley came up with a similar design for the safety pin, but the company that he had founded ceased production soon after.
The first design of the safety pin was interestingly similar to what we have now. A piece of brass wire was folded and coiled on one end before ending in a clasp. The clasp prevented the sharp points of the brass wire from touching the hand of the user.
The American inventor of the modern safety pin eventually sold the patent and rights to the product to W.R. Grace and Company for a massive $400 in his time. Hunt was able to pay off his debt to his friend, and the rest of the money, he used for himself. What Hunt did not see at the time that he sold the patent to another company was that W.R. Grace and Company would manufacture literally millions of safety pins and herald a new era of sewing and safety in securing fabrics.
The modern safety pin, the one that we have now, has a distinct design that is supposed to make it safe and easy to use.
The pin itself is sharpened to ensure that it will be able to penetrate any fabric. The rounded clasp with just enough shaft space for the end of the sharpened pin completely shields the end of the safety pin and prevents injury. The clasp is also responsible for securing the pin so that one end doesn’t fly off or open when it shouldn’t be opening in the first place.
Called the locking safety pin, this design would be the standard for all variations of safety pins all over the world, though the clasp will eventually change depending on the need of the user. For example, diaper pins are manufactured with extra deep clasps and smooth plastic so there will be no risk of jabbing or injury.
Due to the size of safety pins, children swallow them frequently. It was Dr. Chevalier Jackson who devised a method for extracting safety pins that were accidentally swallowed by children. Dr. Jackson was a laryngologist, and he has seen so many different causes of the same injury. He even had a display of some of the safety pins that he has extracted as a result of accidental swallowing.