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The Hinge

Simply put, a hinge is just a mechanical bearing that connects two solid objects, typically allowing a limited angle of rotation between them.  

How many times during any given day do we rely on and use hinges?  Think about it…….probably hundreds of times each and every day.  Every time we enter a building, use an appliance, open a cabinet, or get into our vehicles, hinges make those things possible.  Hinges are work horses and without them we’d be lost.

The history of hinges dates back so far that historians aren’t sure about their exact origin. While some experts claim hinges to be somewhere around 4000 years old, recently discovered hinges are believed to have been designed and produced well over 5500 years ago and were in existence prior to the Bronze Age.  Several of the most primitive societies of Asia, Africa and Europe give credence to that fact, with some of the earliest hinges being made of wood, leather or bone.  

Originally, bronze was the primary metal used to create hinges.  Bronze was very expensive, making them accessible only to the wealthy and powerful.  With the expansion and gradual progress of metallurgy the look and production of hinges changed dramatically. Various alloys were invented such as brass, steel and wrought iron, which lead to more affordable products in the market.  By the middle ages the creation and availability of different metals changed substantially and hinges, both simple and ornamental, were being fabricated by blacksmiths for any number of uses including: drawbridges, fortification of castles, churches and common dwellings.

Today, hinges are manufactured in a wide array of metals, as well as plastics and other non corrosive materials.  They are used in every way imaginable, and every industry on the planet uses hinges in some way, shape or form. From construction, aerospace, automotive, electronic, fitness and food production, industry needs and relies on hinges.  We all rely on hinges.  So the next time you’re opening the fridge or getting into your car, think about where we would be without hinges.