Today in History: April 25

800px-lofting_type

 

In 1684,

A patent was granted for making  the thimble.*

Much later  a Monopoly token**

And surprisingly once was, in truth, a love symbol.***

*To John Lofting, a Dutchman transplanted to England. His patent was actually for the horse-powered knurling machine that produced his version [shown above] of what had been around for centuries in various epiphanies.

**It was voted off the board in 2017.

*** In Elizabethan times,  beaux would give thimbles to their fair ladies as part of the courtship ritual.

sbt-1995-38-thimble-c17-lg-1-width-770A 17th century Elizabethan thimble given by the gentleman to his lady

 

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  • I wonder what sexist rationale justified the gift of the Elizabethan thimble? Sew up the suitor's fly? I tried Googling it, and while I got this webpage, I didn't get an answer.

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    During Elizabethan times, a thimble was a love token and often given as a pledge of troth.....our modern day engagement ring. A thimble was used in any kind of sewing of cloth - repairing seams, etc. Elizabethan clothes could be quite ornate so a thimble would most definitely be needed. Tailors also used thimbles, so hardly a "sexist" item.

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