Question from Fabi R.:
I stumbled onto patent #1120656 the other day, and it looks like the pushpin (thumbtack) we buy & use today. Do you know if this was the original pushpin? And could you, anyway, tell me if not which one was and how did they came up with the idea?
You’re right Fabi, patent 1120656 does look a lot like today’s common pushpin. However, this is not the original pushpin patent. The original patent for the pushpin was US Patent 654319. It was issued to Edwin Moore on July 24, 1900, 14 years before the version you discovered!
Edwin Moore started a company for $112.60 to design the perfect push pin. He spent his afternoons and evenings making push pins which he would sell each morning. His first sales was for a 144 push pins at the price of $2.00. His first memorable sale was to Eastman Kodak for $1,000 worth of push pins.
In 1904, the company was named the Moore Push-Pin Company. The company still exists today. Located in a Wyndmoor, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia, Moore Push-Pin continues to package & produce various “little things,” including pushpins and fasteners.
Thanks for the great question, Fabi!
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