The Invention of the Push Pin

History of the Moore Push Pin Company

Edwin Moore - Push Pin King
Edwin Moore - Push Pin King. Courtesy of the Moore Push Pin Company

The push pin was invented and patented in 1900 by Edwin Moore, in Newark, New Jersey.

Moore founded the Moore Push Pin Company with only $112.60. He rented a room and devoted each afternoon and evening to making push pins, an invention he described as "a pin with a handle."

In his original patent application, Moore described push pins as pins "whose body portion can be firmly held by the operator when inserting the device, all liability of the operators fingers slipping and tearing or marring the film being removed."

In the mornings, he sold what he had made the night before. His first sale was one gross (a dozen dozens) of push-pins for $2.00. The next memorable order was for $75.00, and his first major sale was for $1,000 worth of push pins, to the Eastman Kodak Company. Moore made his push pins from glass and steel. 

Today push pins, also known as a thumbtacks or drawing pins, are used widely in offices across the word.

Moore Push Pin Company

As soon as he was well established, Edwin Moore began advertising. In 1903, his first national advertisement appeared in "The Ladies' Home Journal" at a cost of $168.00. The company continued to grow, and was incorporated on July 19, 1904, as the Moore Push Pin Company. Over the next few years, Edwin Moore invented and patented many other items, such as picture hangers and map tacks.

From 1912 through 1977, the Moore Push Pin Company was located on Berkeley Street in Germantown, Philadelphia.

Today, the Moore Push Pin Company occupies a large, well-equipped plant in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. The business is still exclusively devoted to the manufacturing and packaging of "little things."