The history of Snap fasteners

The history of Snap fasteners.

It is not very clear who invented the snap fastener, some sources say it is an American invention, but I have not been able to find a patent or a name in the data base of the USA patent office.

In all, I have not been able to find a lot about the history of Snap Fasteners on the web as far as the Amercan history concerns.

Following is a digest of an article at

The earliest snap fasteners were of the bird-cage type -- a dome slit by longitudinal perforations and a rigid ring as a socket into which the dome was forced.

Because of the design, these snaps would later be called ball and socket fasteners.

Snaps began showing up around 1840 in Europe. They were used primarily on theatrical costumes, especially where the costume had to be removed quickly between scenes of plays. For example, snaps were sewn on the outside of garments to hold ruffles and then quickly removed to change costumeís appearance. Snaps then began to appear on gloves.

During the 1850s the snap was designed as we know it today. A German firm invented a snap fastener with a double S spring made from bronze wire in the late 1800s. The early snaps were not reliable nor rustproof. By the early 1890s they began to sprout by the hundreds, as many brands as hooks and eyes and more often than not by the same manufacturer.

Adjustable heavy metal snaps called mechanics buttons were popular for menís work pants in the early 1900s as they still are today although most are now gripper style.

The European history started in Germany.

The "Federknopf-Verschluss" is meant to create an easier way of closing and opening the fly of men's trousers.

The above statement is part of the patents text in the :

"Patentschrift No. 32496 des Kaiserlichen Patentamts"

The invention was done by Heribert Bauer, the patent was granted on may, 5th, 1885.

There is no knowledge of what happened to the inventor, except that he sold his invention to a German company called Prym in 1903.

Prym started production and marketing that same Year and made it a succes.

This at least proves that inventing alone is not enough, marketing a product is equally important.

Prym still is the leading European producer in Snap Fasteners.