Put A Pin In It

It’s a History Mystery!If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Instagram of late, you know that I’ve been working on a new character for Raleigh Supercon in July.

Well, new enough. I’m still going as a steampunk plague doctor, but I have a name and a background and I’m working on the costume. I may have bought the base elements, but I’m adding my own touches and elements and accoutrements.

Mr. Tom is once again proving invaluable. He never threw anything out that might one day be of use – and now I have the opportunity to go through the jars and cans and boxes in the garage and see what I can make use of.

Down in the basement I found some safety pins. Well, not exactly safety pins – they look like this:

What on earth?

Luckily, the pins had their own hangar with the manufacturer name stamped on it. To the Internet!

The company, Keyes-Davis is still in existence and responded to my inquiry within a day. Talk about service!

A kind sales representative by the name of Charlotte replied:

Thank you for your inquiry. We have  been making laundry pins for many

years. They are still produced today actually.

With the different numbers stamped on them they were probably ordered by a

larger laundry company back in the 50’s or 60’s when the laundry companies

were much more prominent and bigger. I couldn’t tell you for what company we

made them for since its been so long. We have been in business for at least

100 years.

I have attached what is some of our current pins look like and an older

standard we had for our pins we sold to larger laundry companies.

I hope this helps a little bit.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to email or call.

I’m so excited to have an answer to this small bit of mystery!


I sent Charlotte the picture of my pins and she replied:

Just a little information on those pictured. They would be our Brass unplated.

We make Brass Nickel Plated now. It is a standard now.

Those would have been a specific. But they are amazing to see.

The larger ones are our 5” ones and the smaller look to be our standard 2”

I hope this little bit helps some more to understand why they don’t exactly match the current pictures we have.

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