Curtain ring

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Curtain rings supporting a white linen curtain.

A curtain ring is a small clip designed to hold a curtain in place. As their principal purpose is to hold up curtains of all types, examples of their use can be found on shower curtains[1] and other types of curtains.


The Romans used curtains hanging from poles with a few rings. Pliny's natural history reports that the hard kernels of the cucus tree were turned to make the rings.[2]

Lewis and Clark took three gross of curtain rings with them on their famous expedition to the Pacific coast in 1804, expecting to give them as presents to the natives of the North American interior.[3]

In the 19th century, Mr Rees designed a curtain ring which would not catch upon the curtain rail and so would go smoothly around curves and corners.[4]

Such rings may be used as improvisations in other ways. For example, they may be used as a wedding ring to solemnise a marriage ceremony;[5][6] or as a ligature to prevent nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting).[7] Other uses include hanging a hammer from one's belt or attaching one's gloves or canteen to one's sleeping bag while camping when not using a backpack.[8]

The 1987 film Planes, Trains and Automobiles has a character played by John Candy who is a curtain ring salesman.[9] His ability to sell the rings for their alternate uses (e.g., large earrings) is central to the plot of the movie.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Choosing the Right Shower Curtain Rings". Choosing the Right Shower Curtain Rings. 
  2. ^ Alexandra Croom (2007), Roman furniture, p. 145, ISBN 978-0-7524-4097-2, Curtains were hung on poles with a limited number of rings, creating a characteristic draped effect between them. Pliny mentioned the fruit of the cucus tree which had a hard kernel that was used to make curtain rings 
  3. ^ John Bakeless (1996), Lewis and Clark, p. 101, ISBN 978-0-486-29233-5 
  4. ^ Cassell's family magazine, 8, 1885, A curtain-ring which catches and does not slide along easily is at least troublesome, and hence the ring of Mr. Rees, which we illustrate, may find some favour. It can be drawn round curves and angles as well as along a straight pole  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "The wedding-ring", Appleton's Journal of Literature, Science and Art, 1 
  6. ^ Jones, William (1877). Finger-ring Lore. pp. 286–287. Retrieved 4/2/2011.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. ^ Robert Liston, Elements of surgery 
  8. ^ Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things. Readers Digest. 2004. Attach your sneakers to your sleeping bag with a metal curtain ring; your gloves and canteen can dangle from a metal shower curtain ring or a ... Attach a sturdy metal shower curtain ring to your belt and slip your hammer through it. ... 
  9. ^ Richard Schickel (November 30, 1987). "Worst-Case Scenario. Planes, Trains and Automobiles". Time magazine.