Over the centuries, mankind has invented quite a few pins. They are all different and have a different purpose and history. To begin with, we'll talk about sewing pins that look like a needle with a ball or eyelet head. In the form in which they are familiar to us, they have been known since the 15th century. Nowadays, tailor's pins have not only a metal, but also a bright plastic ball. These pins are especially useful when sewing. There are also so-called "carnations" - pins for packing men's shirts. They look like ordinary ones, only shorter and their metal ball is very small. In the middle of the 18th century, the French made the first pins of the modern type. England did not lag behind, which by that time had become the main supplier of needles. In 1775, the Continental Congress of the North American Colonies announced the establishment of a prize, which would be awarded to anyone who could make the first 300 pins, equal in quality to those brought from England. But only in the 19th century, with the development of the fashion industry, the industry began to produce sewing pins, as they say, personally for tailors.
As for pins for "paper" purposes, the need for them became acute at the beginning of the Renaissance, when scientists and writers appeared, and they had a lot of papers that required temporary fastening (unlike traditional stitching - after all, there were no binders in those days ). The pins were made by stretching metal bars into a wire, which was then cut into pieces of the desired length. A metal head was attached to the resulting blanks. With the invention of a special drawing board, work went faster, and about 4 thousand pins were produced per hour. The work was stalled due to the fact that the packers did not keep up with the machine - they managed to pack only about one and a half thousand pieces per day. It was necessary to come up with something urgently. And they came up with it. The principle of division of labor. (Later this principle was used as the basis for the conveyor line). The eminent eighteenth-century economist, Adam Smith, once calculated that if not for this principle, only a few pins would be produced per day. This calculation of his entered later in textbooks on economics and some other disciplines.
Throughout history, only a few pin-making machines have been invented. The most successful was invented by the physicist John Ayreland Howe, namesake of Elias Howe, one of the founders of the sewing machine in America. This was not his first invention, before that he experimented in a completely different field - with rubber, but failed there. Hard work in an almshouse, where he made pins by hand, prompted him to invent the pin machine. The first car turned out badly (not very lucky, apparently, there was an inventor). But with the help of the second, 60 thousand pins were produced per day. Immediately it became necessary to invent a machine that would immediately pack pins (in those days they were pinned to cardboard sheets).
Interestingly, humanity has consistently lacked pins. Henry VIII even issued a decree prohibiting the sale of pins every day, for this special days were allocated. This did not improve the situation with the deficit, on the contrary - confusion, hustle and bustle, queues began; the decree had to be canceled after a while.