How much do you know about thimbles?



9 Questions

What is the main purpose of a thimble?

What is the history of thimbles?

What are thimbles typically made from?

What is a thimblette?

What is a sail palm?

What is the significance of the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London?

What are some cultural works that have referenced thimbles?

What is the most expensive thimble ever sold?

What were early American thimbles made of?


History and Uses of Thimbles

  • Thimbles were created to prevent discomfort while sewing by providing a barrier between fingertips and a needle.
  • Thimbles date back to the 10th century, with thimbles being in widespread use in England by the 14th century.
  • The majority of metal thimbles were made of brass, with silver thimbles becoming popular in the 18th century due to cheaper sources of silver from the Americas.
  • Thimbles are usually made from metal, leather, rubber, wood, glass, or china.
  • Thimbles were originally used solely for pushing needles through fabric but gained many other uses, such as measuring spirits and gunpowder.
  • Collecting thimbles became popular in the UK when many companies made special thimbles to commemorate the Great Exhibition held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park, London.
  • Early American thimbles made of whale bone or tooth featuring miniature scrimshaw designs are considered valuable collectibles.
  • Thimblettes are soft thimbles, made predominately of rubber, used primarily for leafing through or counting documents, bank notes, tickets, or forms.
  • A sail palm is a variation on the thimble used by sailmakers and leather workers, consisting of a pitted hard plate set into a stiff leather band that is worn around the palm of the hand.
  • In the Parker Brothers board game Monopoly, the thimble was one of the eight traditional metal game pieces used to mark a player's position on the game board.
  • Thimbles have been used or referenced in various cultural works, such as Peter Pan, Batman Returns, and Popeye.
  • The most expensive thimble ever sold was a Meissen porcelain thimble that sold for $18,000 USD in 1979.


Test your knowledge of the history and uses of thimbles with this informative quiz! From their origins dating back to the 10th century, to their various materials and uses beyond sewing, thimbles have a rich and fascinating history. Learn about valuable collectibles, unique variations like sail palms, and even their appearances in popular culture. Impress your friends with your newfound thimble trivia knowledge!

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