Saturday, June 14, 2014

Some Safety Pin History...!

At different times in our history, folks have come up with some really neat inventions and then sold the patents for next to nothing.

I reckon that in hindsight, the inventors realized that wasn't always a good move on their part! Here's a case in point.

Safety Pins


Walter Hunt was a New York City mechanic and prolific inventor. He held patents for a fountain pen, knife sharpener, rifle, streetcar bell, stove, ice plow, sewing machine, street-sweeping machine, and nail-making machine, among many others.

To pay off a $15 debt to his friend, Hunt decided to invent something useful that he could quickly turn a profit on. One day, while fiddling with a 20-centimeter (8 in) piece of brass wire, it came to him. His idea was the safety pin—the first pin to have spring action and a clasp to protect the fingers.

Hunt filed the patent on April 10, 1849, which he later sold to W.R. Grace and Company for $400. With that, he paid off his friend, keeping the remaining $385 for himself. W.R. Grace and Company made millions off of the safety pin, as would Hunt, if he had kept a share of the rights.

I guess it's easy for us to sit back and say "I would have waited" but who knows? I reckon he wished he hadn't sold so cheap.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. How about some cheese and sliced fruit? 


Frugal Queen said...

They are so useful, I don't go anywhere without some

HermitJim said...

Hey Frugal...
The one "can't do without" tool needed in every home. Handy in so many situations!

Thanks for coming over today!

Chickenmom said...

So many items need safety pins: horse blankets, kilts and of course before disposables, diapers! Save me a spot on the patio!

Rob said...

I'll bet that $400 was a lot of money in 1849.

JO said...

He must have thought himself rich with the $400 - $15. If he invented so many things he might very well have had himself a nice little nest in the end.

Coffee, fresh fruit and cheese sounds really good. Pass the pot please.

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
I can't imagine not having some safety pins around, even though I don't sew!

Thanks for coming by today!

Hey Rob...
I think you're right about that! All things are relative, I reckon!

Thanks for coming over this morning!

Hey Jo...
For an inventor, that much money probably was a good price for his work!

I'm glad you dropping in today, sweetie!