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A Surprisingly Interesting History of Hinges

The hinge is an incredibly simple yet important piece of technology. Many, including myself, believe the hinge to be one of the greatest inventions of the ancient and modern world. Its importance to everyday life is right up there with the wheel. The actual beginning of the hinge is unknown, but the first traces of the hinge date back to 1600 B.C.

hinge god

Discoveries in Hattusa, an ancient eastern capital, showed early
forms of hinges being used to make massive objects mobile.
Hattusa was surrounded by stone walls with two giant wooden
doors swinging open on pivots set inside large stone sockets.
Sadly, at this date hinges were not available to the average home
owners. They were known only to be on public or sacred buildings (sound familiar?). In the Old Testament hinges are mentioned when describing King Solomon’s elaborate temple, which included gold-plated sockets for solid gold doors.

The Egyptians are also included in the history of the hinge. Hinges have been found among Egyptian ruins dating back to about 760-650 B.C. Babylonians and Assyrians, in late B.C. and early A.D., were also recognized as hinge users. Moving slightly forward in time, the hinge begins to develop.

old hinge
roman hinge

The Romans, being at the forefront in technology, developed
an improved hinge system. Not only using the hinge for gre-
at community structures, but also for ordinary household items
such as cabinets, doors, drawers etc. They had hinges placed
on certain armour pieces for greater mobility. The Romans
even had a "goddess" of the door hinge known as Cardea.

The next significant advancement in the hinge saga came from the English colonies in the 16th and 17th century. All types of reinforced metals were used to create a stronger and more powerful hinge. Different styles began to develop to make everyday appliances easier to operate. Years later, the American colonists took the idea of the hinge with them. Jamestown settlers imported hinges from English colonies for many of years. Blacksmithing became a very popular job due to the domestic need for hardware for the American colonies.

When colonists eventually moved west, the hinge followed. In the 1850’s Charles Hager founded the present day Hager Hardware company which developed wagon wheel rims and hinges for the wagon doors. By this time, colonists had what is now considered to be a modern day hinge. Since then many innovations of the hinge have developed: the T-hinge in 1843, the ball bearing hinge in 1899, and in 1900 the most common hinge used today was developed, the butt hinge. Today, there are a dizzying number of types and variations of hinges. We hope this site will help you sort them out.


The following is a short list: butt hinge, soss hing, invisible hinge, gate hinge, strap hinge, cabinet hinges that are overlay hinges, inset hinges or euro hinges or decorative hinges, european hinges: blum, amerock, liberty styles for inset face-frame doors and overlay face frame doors or overlay doors and inset doors for frameless cabinets, soft close hinges, 35 mm euro style hinge, clip on style, compact hinges, grass hignes, corner hinges, pie-cut hinges, glass door hinges, pin hinges, marathon hinges, light duty hinges, heavy duty hinges, stainless steel hinges, barred hinge, no-bore concealed hinge, 270 degree hinge, wrap-around higne, 3/8 inch offset, inset hinge, drop leaf hinge, flap hinge, drop flap hinge, plastic hinge, pivot door hinge, kitchen door pivot hinge, offset hung pivot, center hung pivot hinge, interior door pivot hinge, cafe door pivots, rack and pinion pivot hinge, toy box lid support, chest hinge, box hinge, beach seat hinge, friction support, lid support, cedar chest lid support hinge, quadrant hinge, humidor hinge, house door hinge, 3" hinge, architectural hinges, residential hinges, ball bearing hinges, radius corner hinge, combination corner hinge, cabinet door hinges, semi concealed hinge, surface mount cabinet hinge, reverse bevel, variable overlay, self closing, free swinging, H hinges, HL hinges, flush, offset, ice box hinge, ant deco hinge, antique hinge, butterfly hinge, ornamental hinge, colonial style, furniture hinges, table hinge, shelf hinge, butler tray hinge, desk hinge, swing machine hinge, folding screen hinge, lift seat hinge, mirror hinge, hoosier hinge, hoosier cabinet hinge, interior hinge, shutter hinge, window hinge, exterior hinge, inside hinge, outside hinge, miniature hinge, craft hinges, small box butt hinge, spring hinge, piano hinge, builders hinge screen door, tray hinges, entertainment center, ball tip, demountable hinge, finial tip hinges, lift off hinge, glass door hinge, tee hinge, small butt hinge, garage door hinge, weld-on hinge

Colonial Hinges



Ancient Egyptian Hinge
Roman Armour
Cardea, the Roman hinge goddess.


old hinges