Talk:Thimble

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During the First World War thimbles were sometimes used for currency. Where? When? How long? Why? Malbi 14:34, 12 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I have reread and corrected myself! Sorry, I shouldn't have let it slip in. JubeJube 14:04, 13 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Easy mistake to make, LOL - And what's with the "Women of the Night" prissiness in the intro?! Garrick92 15:41, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Moths?[edit]

Can someone substantiate the sandalwood thimble keeps moths away bit? Sounds like a legend. While I don't doubt that sandalwood would keep moths away, the amount of wood in a thimble would make about one good shaving is all, hardly enough to protect a fabric store. --Fenevad 01:10, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Origin[edit]

It says the thimble was invented in modern times, yet in a recent documentary, "The Town That Time Forgot," one of the Roman artifacts uncovered was a thimble. (Anonymous comment, 8 July 2007 71.99.1.176)

Indeed, and not only that, but the article itself currently talks about ancient Roman Thimbles.
So, the comment "Originally created by European inventor Thomas Wicks" is incoherent, in (1) contradicting the rest of the page, and (2) being unsupported by googling on related terms.
Therefore I am deleting it (changing the wording to simply "Originally"), as apparent Original Research, forbidden by wikipedia convention, and worse, because there is no way of reconciling it with the rest of the page.
If anyone comes along with an opinion about this "Thomas Wicks", please enlighten us as to exactly what his historical role was, and how that meshes with the rest of this article. Thanks. (P.S. I see this is 1 April UTC, so for the record, I am not making an April Fools joke...if I were, well, the above seems very unfunny...rather boring, in fact.) Dougmerritt (talk) 03:58, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Please read e "A Complete Dictionary of Dry Goods" book, by George S. Cole. It claims thimbles are found earlier - with anchient egyptian mummies. Please verify and update if you agree as I want to know who really did invent this. -Chris 144.131.85.30 (talk) 10:02, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

In a beautiful article on thimbles by William Isbister I read: "Oddly enough, neither the Romans nor the Greeks before them appear to have used metal thimbles. It may be that leather or cloth finger guards proved sufficiently robust for their purposes. There are so-called Roman thimbles in museum collections, but the provenance of those metal thimbles is in fact not certain, and many have been removed from display. No well-documented archeological data link metal thimbles to any Roman site." Isbister states: "The earliest known thimbl — in the form of a simple ring—dates back to China’s Han Dynasty (206 bce-202 ce)." The German Wikipedia dates thimbles back to the Neolithic Age: "Erstmals sind Fingerhüte – aus Knochen oder Elfenbein – in der Jungsteinzeit in der Nähe von Moskau belegt. Auch bei den Etruskern war der Fingerhut bereits um 500 v. Chr. gebräuchlich." (First thimbles made from bone or ivory appear in the Neolithicum near Moscow. Etruscans used thimbles around 500 bc) — Fritz Jörn (talk) 05:32, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Etymology[edit]

The origin of the word "thimble" presented in this article may be spurious. According to at least one source (the English-Latin dictionary Promptorium Parvulorum) the spelling thymbyl was current in 1440, thus significantly predating Lofting. Kaldari (talk) 23:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

According to OED, "thimble" is derived from "thumb" + the suffix "le", used for the names of instruments - cf. "handle".FrogC (talk) 14:06, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

First thimbles in England[edit]

The third paragraph of this article may be wrong as brass thimbles apparently existed in London as early as 1500. Kaldari (talk) 00:10, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


If a Roman thimble was found at St Albans, then the first thimble ever seen in England was NOT made in 1695, but was a Roman thimble dating from before approx. 410.
Why is there no mention in this article of different styles of thimbles? For example, a tailors thimble has no end but is more akin to a metal ring. 87.114.16.126 (talk) 05:02, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
OED entry for thimble reveals that they existed in England in the Middle Ages. The Parliamentary Army in the Civil War was nicknamed the Thimble and Bodkin Army. The source of the incorrect assertion that thimbles were introduced into England by Lofting is a book called Home and School Sewing by Frances Patton .FrogC (talk) 11:42, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Things to Be Added to This Page[edit]

(1) I see no mention of Peter Pan, even though the thimble represented a kiss in Peter Pan. Something this culturally-important ought to be mentioned in this article.

(2) I see no mention of engagement gifts, even though the thimble used to be an engagement gift prior to the rise of the engagement ring in the beginning of the twentieth century. Again, something this historically-important ought to be mentioned in this article.

The fact that both of these have something to do with love or intimacy, I am inclined to say that the thimble is a rather interesting symbol. Unfortunately, this side of the thimble is underrepresented in this article. I hope someone will add the information.

173.64.90.41 (talk) 01:52, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

The story that the Pilgrims and Puritans gave thimbles instead of engagement rings, and that the women cut the bottoms off to make them into wedding rings is an urban legend. To see this legend in its various incarnations, just do a web search on the terms: wedding thimble puritans. To see this story debunked, see this website: wedding thimble debunked I've been working on the Engagement ring article and have spent the last three weeks researching betrothal and wedding customs in the Plymouth Colony and Massachusetts Bay Colony. Haven't added much to article yet, as I'm still doing research and gathering my notes. Engagement rings became popular in the mid-19th century, not the 20th, but only because that's when engagements replaced betrothals. Before that they had betrothal rings going back to the days of the Roman Republic, all through the Middle Ages, and everywhere in Colonial America except Plymouth and Massachusetts (e.g., Maryland Catholics, Virginia Anglicans, Dutch Reformed in New Netherland). Meanwhile, it looks as if someone has worked the Peter-Pan thimble into the section Cultural references, which looks good. Zyxwv99 (talk) 15:20, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

Nautical "sewing palm"[edit]

I was curious if this should be incorporated or perhaps made into it's own article. Thimbles of course are made to push the needle through heavy cloth. Among sailors and sailmakers they have a variation called a sewing palm, seaming palm, sailmaker's palm, or roping palm (these terms sometimes are interchangeable but some sources say they are slightly different). It's a flat thimble-like shield set into a leather band wrapped around the hand, with the shield resting against the base of the thumb. This allows the user to push a needle through several layers of tough waxed canvas, because they can apply more force to the needle than just a finger could provide. Palms are used in making sails by hand as well as repairing them. Here's a video showing the usage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzKhbhdEfC8. So, think it's worth a mention? They are mentioned in many sources on traditional rigging and knot-tying, such as the Ashley Book of Knots.Legitimus (talk) 16:44, 9 September 2015 (UTC)