I frequently do interpretive demonstrations in a variety of parks and museums. For years I have been trying to find out WHEN the typical seam ripper of today’s sewers came into common useage. So far, no one has been able to help. I’ve asked every “expert” I can think of to ask with no luck.
Does anyone know when the seam ripper was invented?
This question won’t get much attention in this forum. Best to e-mail one of the moderators in General Questions and have them move it over there.
I sent a message to the mods with the very same idea a while back.
Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, past history. Your question was originally placed in our ATMB forum (About This Message Board); it’ll stand a better chance of being answered in our General Questions forum, so I moved it there for ya’. No biggie; you’ll know next time.
1865 looks to be too early. Patent # 48,662 from that year describes a manual seam ripper, but it’s a triangular spatula shaped thingy with a blade rising from one face.
On the other hand, this 1973 patent shows a ‘ornamental design’ for a seam ripper that looks a lot like the ones you buy at Jo-Ann Fabrics. That patent references the E. Faber Company catalog from 1901; page 12, top item.
I looked at several referenced patents between 1865 and 1925, and none seem to show a modern design. The original may not have been patented, or I may have missed seeing it. Those old image files can play havoc with web browsers.
Longago, The Orient
Best I could come up with.