Thursday, June 13, 2013

File Under Little Know Facts And Useless Information

Do you know who invented the safety pin? A man named Walter Hunt in the year 1849. Do you know who then sold the patent for the safety pin for $400 US dollars (about $9,523.81 today)? A man named Walter Hunt. He also invented the sewing machine 10 years before Elias Howe Jr. which should have made him rich and famous. Unfortunately, he has a soft heart and no real business sense. He did not patent his sewing machine because he was afraid that building it would put garment industry seamstresses out of work. Others were not so scrupulous. Howe took Hunt's idea, improved on it, and patented it himself. Isaac Singer then took what Howe had done, improved on it, and started building sewing machines. For the next ten years Hunt, Howe, and Singer were involved in court battles for the patent rights to the sewing machine.

The man who invented both the safety pin and the sewing machine died at age 63 just before Singer agreed to pay him what today would be equivalent to 1.2 million dollars to settle his patent suit.

Short biography of Walter Hunt here.

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