Thursday, May 6, 2010

Pins: Bobby, clothes and safety

They just don't make them like they used to. Unless you want to pay an outrageous price, that is!

What started this rant? I pin my hair back, sometimes into a sort of bun, with bobby pins. I had the same ones for years, but eventually, they had to be replaced. No problem; I just grabbed some when I went to the grocery store. Done deal, right? Nope.

Well it was, kind of. I found and bought the bobby pins. I brought them home and used them for three or four days, when one of them sprung and wouldn't hold my hair any more. The next day another one went. Then every two or three days I was throwing one out, so I went back and bought a different kind and they did the same thing.

Not very frugal! I'm sure the idea was to use less or poorer grade metal and save somebody something while encouraging the public to buy more often. In reality, the company lost my business, not only for the bobby pins, but for its other products.

My sister had some bobby pins from ages ago and gave them to me. Wow, what a difference. Not only are they still unsprung (new word?), they hold my hair the way they're supposed to.

And now on to the clothes pins... but you probably know all about them. I have clothes pins that I bought at least 15 years ago and I still use them. I leave them out on the line all the time. So... I decided, that since they were so old, I should buy a few more to replace them as they broke. Bad move.

The spring type of clothespins i bought are so weak they will hardly hold themselves to the line, let alone laundry. And they're cut at such an angle that I tend to grab the wrong end. Maybe that's why they don't work very well - that and the poor grade of spring metal they use. I heard that you can still buy good quality spring clothespins. I wonder which arm and leg they'll want?

Safety pins. Safe, my foot. If a pin that bends out of shape so easily that the pointed end slips out of its notch, then "safety" is just a traditional misnomer, like car length "driveways," and city parks with no parking zones. Cheap metal and a cheap design do not equal a quality product.

Rant over.


  1. Pat...don't even get me started on how things are made today! Gone are the days when things were made in the "Good Old U.S.of A! Gone is the furniture you'd buy when you got married and yup you raised all your kids with it! Don't jump on the couch, no eating on the couch, shoes off the couch! I can't even tell you how many couches I have bought just in the past say 5 years!!! They all claim to be durable! Ya right! Instead you can't even sit down without the couch compromising!
    I feel for you! Those wonderful Bobby Pins from my youth are only a memory say with Aunt Bea on May berry RFD! Bring back Lucille Ball and her Bobby Pins! Bring back the Bobby Socks too! Shoot I can remember when the only hair styling gel was Dippity-Doo!

  2. Don't forget straight pins! The last couple of boxes I bought are so weak they bend when I use them on thin fabric and are useless on denim.

  3. OOoh, yes, Dippity Do! I remember that. It worked, didn't it? :) So many things are so cheaply made any more. And they whine and carry on about how our landfills are filling up. I wonder why?

    And Diane... it's been a long time since I've bought straight pins so I didn't even think of those. Nothing is even mediocre quality any more.

  4. It used to be that manufacturing a quality product was a thing of pride. Less money was spent on advertising, because your well-made product would advertise itself by word of mouth recommendation from other satisfied customers. *sigh*
    Now it seems we live in a world of CCC---"Cheap Chinese Crap."

  5. You're right, slk. "CCC" - I like that. :)

  6. It is very frustrating. My currant rant is the poor quality hair clips currently available for holding a large amount of hair. Sigh. In years past, I used the long thick "roller pins" to pin my rather thick bun. I do not know if they are available anymore. Today, the bun is now a "French twist." I use "Good Hair Days" "Magic-Grip Hairpins." They might serve your purpose. They performed better than I expected and now use them exclusively.

    Clothes pins! I have even thought of making my own. My current preference is the flat ones that are used for crafts. I still would like those heavy duty styles of years past.


  7. "Frustrating" is a mild word, Gigi! Where do you find "Magic Grip" hair pins?

    I've been stashing away the springs when the old clothes pins break. I figure I can at least have strong springs although the new pins are not balanced well.

  8. If you type in,
    they have a page that gives the locations of the retail/online stores. Sally's carries their hairpins. They are all plastic, but they hold my twist tightly. They also have "grip-tuth" (tough) hair combs. They are the best I have every used, but Sally's stopped carrying them. I think I will order on line. :-) They are made in the USA!


  9. Thanks, Gigi! I'll check it out.

  10. Pat,
    I ran across this on Yahoo News and thought about your pins! This is the reason why things aren't made the same way anymore. Instead of adults making the products they have children in sweatshops making these products! How sad that life has come to this and has been for a long time!!!
    Well we can speak out against this type of abuse of children and hopefully make a difference for them and the products they are forced to make!!!
    The electricity supply in the sweatshop in the crowded part of old Dhaka where Asma, 10, makes safety pins for a living is so dangerous that the foreman can only turn on the lights using a broomstick."If I use my hands I may get an electric shock," he explains

    Sitting on a bench alongside her co-workers, Asma operates a powerful cutting device in the poorly-lit premises for up to 12 hours a day.

    The safety pins are thinly cut and the machine she operates is cumbersome, heavy and dangerous.

    Despite being blessed with nimble fingers and remarkable manual dexterity, if Asma makes one mistake she could easily lose a finger to the gigantic metal puncher she handles so professionally

    There is no first aid in the factory and no lunch break. None of the children know what happens to the pins once they have been made and none knows exactly who is employing them.

    Like many other child workers in Bangladesh, she does not complain of her plight, remaining resolutely cheerful throughout the morning I spent with her.
    Asma usually arrives at work at eight in the morning and leaves at eight in the evening. She often works six days a week and is paid about $2 a day.

    "I used to study in school then all of a sudden my mum took me out and put me into work. I want to go to school but my mum said I would go again after Eid [the Muslim religious festival].

    "So far that has not happened."

    Asma explains that as one of six children in her family she and her siblings have no choice but to work. Her father is a bicycle rickshaw puller and does not earn enough money to feed his family. Her mother runs the family's home.

    "I was not forced to work here," she says shyly. "The trouble is that if I didn't my family would not have enough money to buy vegetables and we cannot live only on rice."

  11. That's interesting, frugalme. Do you have a link to the original? I know that children work in those places, just like they used to do in the factories here.

  12. Pat,
    I happened to see it on Yahoo News just yesterday! The original article was longer and more detailed but for length sake I had to cut it down! IT is a very interesting article!

  13. Thanks, frugalme! I guess it's not available now, though.