The Tomato Pin Cushion

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One product that is quite useful, yet probably thought of very little, is the pin cushion.  Many of us know the instant pain associated with accidentally sticking ourselves with a pin or a sewing needle.  It can really be hurtful.  The almighty pin cushion is a product that provides a storage place for pins and helps people by preventing most accidental pricks.  Typically, pin cushions are small, stuffed items that allow easy insertion of pins and needles and holds them in place.

It is really amazing how many types of pin cushions have developed over the years.  People who sew, seamstresses, and other individuals will have no problem finding a pin cushion that fits their specific needs.  For example, pin cushions can be found with wrist bands, tree stands, foamy pillows, or in a plethora of other shapes and sizes.  None, however, are quite as familiar and iconic as the Tomato Pin Cushion.

Most people are familiar with the small, plump, cotton-filled tomato pin cushion that is used to store straight pins and needles.  Often, the tomato pin cushion has a strawberry attached to it with a short string.  Speaking of the little strawberry attachment, you may wonder what, or if, it has a purpose besides looking adorable.  The answer is yes.  The strawberry is typically filled with an abrasive agent that is used to sharpen the pins or needles.

Historians believe that the tomato pin cushion was developed during the Victorian Era.  Ladies who were commonly the seamstresses in a family would often have an array of pin cushions that they would use to keep all of their pins in one convenient location.  Many of them would have the tomato pin cushion because of the good luck they believed the tomato would bring them and their families.

It appears that according to folklore, when a family would place a tomato on the mantle above their fireplace, the family would be ensured of economic prosperity, along with good health, too.  There was also the belief that evil spirits would not enter a home that had a tomato on the mantle.  The problem was that real tomatoes were not always in season.  Hence, the development of the tomato cushion.  Quickly, the tomato cushion became purposeful as a pin cushion, too.

Throughout the years, the tomato pin cushion has held its place as a practical place to hold pins and needles, as well as provide good luck to people that had the tomato pin cushion within their homes.  Today, this small little product is still a favorite among many people and can be found in numerous homes; perhaps as a useful tool, or perhaps for a little bit of good fortune.