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Celebrate all things simple and practical on this, International Safety Pin Day! Strong and sharp, yet safe enough to be used on clothing, safety pins are a simple yet ingenious invention, which practically everyone has used at some point. 

Certainly, such an incredibly functional creation deserves its day in the sun. And International Safety Pin Day is just the time to show appreciation for the little things (literally) that are usually taken for granted in life.

History of International Safety Pin Day

Legend has it that, in 1849, Walter Hunt, a mechanic and the person credited with the invention of the safety pin, owed a friend $15 and decided to invent something new in order to earn the money to repay him. He invented the safety pin. Originally called the “dress pin”, this little springing item with a clasp was meant to be protective where straight pins might cause injuries.

As it turned out, Mr. Hunts invention brought him a healthy profit as he eventually ended up selling his patent for the safety pin for a whopping $400, which could compare to more than $20,000 or so in today’s terms. So, the motivation of making just $15 to pay back a friend turned out to be quite a coup!

While Walter Hunt is the first one to have held a patent for the item in the United States, historians have found evidence that the idea goes back much further, perhaps to hundreds of years ago. In fact, it seems that people in Greece and Rome may have used similar devices that were made from various materials such as bone, ivory or metals. An item similar to the safety pin could also be found in England, simply called the “english pin”.

Still, the modern invention of the safety pin is credited to Hunt. And the anniversary of the date that this handy little item was patented was April 10, which is the reason International Safety Pin Day is celebrated on this day each year.

The safety pin became the basis of a variety of other useful items, including pins for diapers, attaching jewelry, or worn as decorative items. Some folks like to stick them through ear or body piercings to use them as jewelry (but to be safe, be careful to make sure they are made from jewelry grade metal). Safety pins also work as a handy gadget to help get that string threaded back through the hood of a sweatshirt.

International Safety Pin Day was established with the motivation of showing appreciation for and celebrating this little invention, its inventor, and a variety of others like it!

How to Celebrate International Safety Pin Day

Enjoy International Safety Pin Day with some interesting ideas:

Get Creative on International Safety Pin Day

Why not take inspiration from Walter Hunt on this International Safety Pin Day and try to create and develop your own clever invention? It’s a great challenge for children, too, who love to come up with new ideas. Parents, grandparents, teachers and babysitters can all participate in the day by telling the inspiring story to the kids and see what ways they will get creative. Perhaps hold a contest at home or school, offer to give a prize for the best new invention and watch their little minds tick away!

Make Use of a Safety Pin

In honor and celebration of International Safety Pin Day, this is the perfect time to make use of this clever little tool. Use one to hold some fabric together or thread some string through a waistband.

Consider a throwback activity for the day. Back in the ‘80s, kids used to enjoy placing colored beads on safety pins and giving them away – otherwise known as “friendship pins”. This might be just the time to bring back that fun activity!

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