19 Facts About Safety Pin We Bet You Didn't Know About

Akshita Rana
Jan 23, 2024 By Akshita Rana
Originally Published on Mar 11, 2022
Edited by Pete Anderson
Read some safety pin facts below.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 4.1 Min

The safety pin is a household item that many of us take for granted.

It is one of the most ubiquitous and versatile objects in the world. Although its simple design has remained unchanged for centuries, the safety pin has a fascinating history and has been used for more purposes than just holding clothes together!

Read on to explore the history and various uses of the safety pin.

Invention Of Safety Pin

Although several other things were used before the invention of the safety pin to fasten clothes together, the simple yet ingenious invention quickly became popular thanks to its ease of use.

In ancient Egyptian tombs, safety pins were found in the form of coiled bronze pins.

The most famous precursor of the modern safety pin is the fibula that the Mycenaeans used in the 14th century. The fibula was a kind of brooch that the Greeks used to secure their tunics.

Between 500-1400 AD, a straight pin was introduced made of bone, silver, ivory, brass, or gold for the wealthy and wood for the common people.

The current safety pin was devised in 1849 in New York by an American mechanic and inventor named Walter Hunt to settle a $15 debt.

Walter Hunt's safety pin was made of a brass wire about 8 in (20.3 cm) long and included a clasp and spring action. The wire was twisted in a way that it could open when released.

Walter Hunt was awarded the patent rights for safety pin on August 10, 1849. However, he sold the patent rights to W.R. Grace and Company for just $400 ($12,000 at present), because of which the company made million-dollar profits for decades.


Since ancient times, safety pins were made using different kinds of materials like ivory, bone, silver, gold, wood, and so on. However, the modern safety pin is made of simpler and less expensive metals.

Safety pins that do not require critical strength are made of spring steel. It is a ferroalloy with high carbon content.

Brass, an alloy made of zinc and copper, is another common metal used to manufacture the safety pin.

Safety pins are also made of stainless steel, an alloy made of nickel and chromium.

Walter Hunt invented safety pins in 1849.

Medical Aspect

A large number of cases are reported every year concerned with safety pin ingestion.

Dr. Chevalier Jackson, a prominent laryngologist, dubbed safety pins 'danger pins' because toddlers frequently ingested them.

Safety pins are recommended to be kept in each first-aid box as they help in securing bandages.

Culture And Tradition

Safety pins have also acquired different meanings in different cultures.

Safety pins are associated with the punk rock genre as many punk stars wore clothes featuring safety pins.

In recent times, safety pins have become a symbol of the marginalized communities who are victims of racism and hate speech.

Safety pins are maintained for generations in India and passed down to daughters.

Ukrainians attach safety pins to children's clothing to ward off evil.

Other Miscellaneous Facts

Read some other interesting facts about safety pins below.

Walter Hunt has also invented a fountain pen, a knife sharpener, a flax spinner, a new kind of rifle, an ice plow, and an artificial stone.

Walter Hunt built the world's first eye-pointed needle sewing machine in 1834. However, he did not commercialize his sewing machine.

Every safety pin factory today engages in mass production using specialized automatic machines.

Every year on April 10, International Safety Pin Day commemorates the date on which Walter Hunt received the patent rights for the safety pin.


Who invented the safety pin?

Walter Hunt invented the safety pin in New York and has also invented the sewing machine, knife sharpener, and several other items.

How did the safety pin change the world?

Safety pins have many uses, such as hemming clothes, binding fabric together, attaching labels to clothing, and tying bows on presents. They are also worn to show support for the communities affected by hate crimes and bigotry.

What are safety pins good for?

Safety pins are mostly for securing fabrics, diapers, loincloths, and bandages.

How did the safety pin get its name?

Since Walter Hunt's invention of the dress pin was designed to protect the fingers from getting injured, it was named 'safety pin.'

Where was the first safety pin made?

Walter Hunt created the first modern safety pin that included a clasp and spring action in New York in 1849.

Is a safety pin magnetic?

Safety pins are not magnetic.

What are safety pins made of?

Most safety pins are made of spring steel, stainless steel, or brass wire.

What did people use before safety pins?

Before the invention of Walter Hunt, Egyptians and Greeks used coiled bronze pins and fibulae to secure their clothing.

Do safety pins have nickel in them?

Safety pins made of stainless steel contain nickel and chromium.

What problem did the safety pin solve?

Safety pins helped in securing clothing without injuring fingers.

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Written by Akshita Rana

Bachelor of Business Administration, Master of Science specializing in Management

Akshita Rana picture

Akshita RanaBachelor of Business Administration, Master of Science specializing in Management

With a Master's in Management from the University of Manchester and a degree in Business Management from St. Xavier's, Jaipur, India, Akshita has worked as a content writer in the education sector. She previously collaborated with a school and an education company to improve their content, showcasing her skills in writing and education. Akshita is multilingual and enjoys photography, poetry, and art in her free time, which allows her to bring a creative touch to her work as a writer at Kidadl.

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