The Evolution of the Hinge

PART ONE: The Pivot Hinge

It’s difficult to pinpoint an actual date of the invention of the hinge, though it might be more clearly classified as a “discovery” rather than an “invention.”  The earliest hinges were not patented, prototyped and then rushed off to a manufacturer for mass duplication and marketing.  It’s more likely that a light bulb (or perhaps a candle, since lightbulbs weren’t around then either) went off in someone’s head, and the idea for the pivot hinge was set in motion.

What is known is that archaeologists have uncovered rudimentary hinges which date back to at least 1600 B.C.   The earliest form of the pivot hinge consisted of a hole bored into stone.  One cavity was above the opening, one was below.  A fixed pin was inserted into the holes, allowing whatever was attached to the pin (i.e. a door) to swivel, or pivot within the hole.

An ancient stone pivot hinge.  In this case, the cavity is bored into a circular stone, resulting in a donut-like appearance.

An ancient stone pivot hinge. In this case, the cavity is bored into a circular stone, resulting in a donut-like appearance.

As the idea caught on, the pivot-hinged door quickly came to replace most previous ways of covering an opening.  Prior to this revolutionary discovery, openings to homes may have been covered with curtains (which were only practical in mild weather, and didn’t do much to keep intruders out) wood or stone (often impractical, since they couldn’t be made too heavy to keep intruders out without trapping occupants inside.)  Within decades, the pivot hinge became the norm, a cheap and easy (albeit labor-intensive) solution to covering openings to homes, businesses, and even ancient city walls.

Another example of an ancient pivot hinge.
Another example of an ancient pivot hinge.

 

 Next week

PART TWO: The Modern Pivot Hinge

 

Stuart, Alix.  “Hinge History: Historical Development and Advances of the Hinge.”  http://www.hardwaresource.com/about_hinges/hinge_history.html 

“Hinge.”  Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.  Jan. 16, 2009.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinge

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~ by pixiejen on February 2, 2009.

One Response to “The Evolution of the Hinge”

  1. […] Pivot Hinge works on the same principle as the company’s other pivot-style hinges.  The pivot hinge  consists of a pin and and a single joint.  The pocket pivot hinge takes pivot principle to a new […]

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