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Heidelberg Historical Society

Eye Spy: Hat Pins

Posted on Friday, 10th November 2023 by Janine Rizzetti

“The pin is mightier than the sword!” This may be true if you’re talking about a hat pin, popular between the 1880s and 1920s as an accessory used to attach a woman’s hat to her hair.

Magazine articles suggested that, at between 6 and 10 inches in length, the humble hat pin could be used by a woman in self-defence if she was attacked. Laws were passed to limit the length of hat pins: indeed, in Sydney in 1912, sixty women were arrested and sent to jail for refusing to pay their fines for overlong hat pins.

Before Mace, a Hatpin Was an Unescorted Lady’s Best Defence is a fascinating article about hat pins, well worth a read!

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