Design & Make

The Success of Push-Pins

by Sebastian Kaufmann June 05, 2018
ReadThe Success of Push-Pins

I once suffered a ‘serious’ injury from a dysfunctional thumbtack. (Under pressure from my thumb, the needle lost its connection to the head and went out the other way). Since then I only use push-pins. They are easier to remove. The push-pin was invented around 1900 by Edwin Moore (1874 – 1916) in Newark, New Jersey. Moore worked at a photo lab and was missing a simple solution to hang up film to dry.

After coming up with his invention, Moore left the photography business, founded the Moore Push-Pin Company and started selling to local businesses. His smart and simple product was made out of a steel needle with a glass head.

Aluminum push-pin

Moore died when only 42 years old, on March 16, 1916, from grippe. He left a wife and two sons, a five and a twelve year old. The company is still selling the best push-pins on the market today.

Unfortunately, Moore doesn’t sell push-pins with a glass head anymore. But they have this really nice looking one made out of aluminum.

The head of a Moore push-pin.

Moore’s first success came with an order by the Eastman Kodac Co. for USD 1,000. This encouraged Moore to enter the world market with his pins. Moore advanced his company through advertising heavily in magazines and newspapers. By the time of his death, Moore was selling push-pins in “every civilized country”.

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