This is so brilliant.
Hatpins as self-defense.
Unfortunately there is a paucity of technical instruction on the hatpin as a weapon. The picture emerges, though, of a two-phase counter-strategy against over-confident ruffians who seized their intended victims by the shoulders or arms. First, the defender would feign shock and indignation, her hand flying up apparently to steady her enormous hat, but in reality to pluck out a hatpin. Then, in one movement, she would jab the weapon forcefully into the offending hand or wrist; Mr. MacGrath was not the only writer to compare the resulting pain to “the sting of a hornet”. This might well suffice to discourage any further offence. If not, the consensus on following-up was to stab the assailant in the face or, if more conveniently accessible, “the place where it hurts the most”.
Hatpin tactics are illustrated in these photographs excerpted from a 1904 self defence article that was featured in the San Francisco Sunday Call newspaper:
(click photo for source)
Hatpin tactics are illustrated in these photographs excerpted from a 1904 self defence article that was featured in the San Francisco Sunday Call newspaper:“When attacked from behind, she grasps a hatpin. Turning quickly, she is able to strike a fatal blow in the face.”