The Thimble

April 25th Celebrates The Thimble

Today on Days to remember we celebrate how on April 25th 1684, a patent was granted for the thimble.

If the patent for the thimble can out in 1684, when was the first thimble discovered?

Actually, no well-documented archeological data link metal thimbles to any Roman site. According to the United Kingdom Detector Finds Database, thimbles dating to the 10th century have been found in England, and thimbles were in widespread use there by the 14th century.

Although there are isolated examples of thimbles made of precious metals Queen Elizabeth the first was said to have given one of her ladies-in-waiting a thimble set with precious stones.

However the vast majority of metal thimbles were made of out brass.

Thimbles are usually made from metal, leather, rubber, and wood and even glass or china. Early thimbles were sometimes made from whale bone, horn, or ivory.

During the First World War, silver thimbles were collected from “those who had nothing to give” by the British government and melted down to buy hospital equipment.

During the 1800s, a thimble was used as a spirit measure or alcohol shot glass, helping coin the phrase, “Only a thimbleful.”

During World War I, thimbles became a type of currency. After World War I, thimbles became a popular advertising medium for companies in all areas of manufacturing and services.

Another known thimble in the thimble family are called, Thimblettes (also known as rubber finger, rubber thimbles and finger cones) are soft thimbles, made predominately of rubber, used primarily for leafing through or counting documents, bank notes, tickets, or forms. They also protect against paper cuts as a secondary function.

Unlike thimbles, the softer Thimblettes become worn over time. They are considered disposable and sold in boxes.

The oldest thimble that has been discovered is from the first century and was found in Pompeii.

The word “THIMBLE” is thought to come from the old English word thymel, meaning thumbstall.

Those of us who collect thimbles are called digitabulilsts. No, I am not making this up, it’s really called that.
Are there famous thimbles?

I’m sure if you noticed in the game called, Monopoly one of the game pieces is a thimble which makes are little tin toy famous. The Thimble from Monopoly, an original piece since 1935 and recently saved from being replaced.

I’m sew happy, as we celebrate how on April 25th 1684, a patent was granted for the thimble.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell


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