Some believe that hinges are among the more important inventions of the world. There are those that even compare their importance to that of the wheel.
It’s hard to know for sure, but the earliest recorded traces of hinges dates back to 1600 BCE.
Let’s take a closer look through the ages.
Evidence of ancient hinges can be found across the globe, including in various parts of Africa, Asia and across Europe. The majority of early hinges uncovered are in the form of bronze door hinges. For example, back in those days there were heavy doors that opened using load-bearing metal hinges in the Akkadian and Hittite palaces.
During this time, metal was an expensive luxury, so emperors would show their wealth by purchasing metal hinges.
Technology during the Medieval period advanced and made metal work much more common. It’s during this time that people began adding hinged doors to their homes.
It was fairly commonplace for blacksmiths to produce affordable wrought iron hinges during this time. Castles and palaces still required load-bearing hinges and some of these hinges still survive today.
The Victorian era was a time of explosive manufacturing growth一and hinges were actually a big part of this. A large number of the hinges were for machines that required hinge parts. During this time, the price of manufacturing hinges dropped dramatically and the speed of production increased.
The Victorian era also saw the introduction of more complex hinges, including smooth opening hinges with ball bearings and neat finishes.
In the 20th century, hinge technology increased further. Now, we have hinges that allow for movement in both directions and allow phones to open without snapping shut.
There are also hinges that have corrosion-resistant coatings and those that can be decorated to match any surface.
While hinges may not constitute the most thrilling aspect of history, they can provide a look into our past and how our ancient counterparts lived. Modern hinges are both utilitarian and decorative, if you know the right kind of hinge to choose.