Posted by The Mysterious H.C. on October 07, 1997 at 22:42:11:
In response to Forks & Pins, written by Ken on October 07, 1997 at 08:22:44
] Eventually (1835), John Howe (*not* the sewing machine guy) invented a machine to make a pin in one operation & speed up the pin-sticking; when that happened, "It was a far cry from the situation in the Middle Ages, when pins had become so scarce that a British law allowed pin makers to sell their product only on certain days. 'Pin money' was set aside to purchase the dear necessities, but, with mass production and the consequent sharp decline in price, 'pin money' came to mean pocket money or 'a pittance sufficient to purchase only pins.'" Petroski does not give prices, but I think we can assume the price of pins had greatly fallen by the time Mrs. Bennet began to enthuse about Lizzie's chances for pin money from her future husband. Maybe she meant gold pins, though (-:
I have a little discussion of what "pin money" meant in the Regencyin the notes on my "Three Sisters" page...
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