Friday, 20 April 2012

Aluminium Thimbles

Hi there

Aluminium (aluminum) is a light metal which is workable from cold and although it can corrode, it doesn't go rusty. 

The metal has the same drawback as silver though - it is incredibly soft and damages easily.

I came across this thimble in a local second hand shop. It was part of a block purchase that I picked up for 50p.

This thimble is made from an aluminium mix.  Its 90% aluminium, 4% copper about 1% magnesium and a little bit of manganese. This makes a very hard, durable aluminium alloy called Duralumin.  Duralumin was discovered in 1910 by a German man called Alfred Wilm.  It was first used for aeroplane parts in the first world war, but it didn't take long for other industries to catch on to the benefits of using the stronger alloy. 

Stratnoid is a brand name for Laughton & Sons of Birmingham who not only produced millions of these stronger aluminium thimbles between the 1920s - 1940s, but also made compacts, knitting needles, crochet hooks, pin cushions... It never ceases to amaze me how an invention designed for one industry can be so practical and brilliant in another. 

Bye for now