Why is February 20th National Handcuff Day? February 20th was chosen because it is the birthday of the modern handcuff. It’s on that date in 1912 that the US Patent office issued patent 1,017,955 to George A. Carney for a “swinging bow ratchet – type” adjustable handcuff. Before that handcuffs were heavy and bulky and there was no standard style. Carney’s design was always ready and was light weight compared to older models. Since that patent, most modern handcuffs around the world have been made with the same swing through design, with minor modifications. The Carney Patent was bought by The Peerless Handcuff Company of Springfield, Mass., and the first models were manufactured for them by Smith & Wesson.

Why celebrate? Their website outlines three major reasons:

Handcuffs are a necessity in a modern society. Police, jails, prisons, and other law enforcement agencies could not function without the modern handcuff. Handcuffs are used every day in arrests, prison transport, and prisioner detention. Without handcuffs many police and corrections officers would face a much greater risk.

Ever since handcuffs first appeared escape artists have been thinking of ways to entertain people by escaping from their metal grasp. Escape artists have been entertaining crowds for hundreds of years escaping from handcuffs and other restraining devices.

In order to preserve a piece of history handcuff collectors collect, display, and even trade handcuffs. The modern handcuff was invented in the early days of the industrial revolution. Looking at many handcuffs, from old to new it is easy to see how the industrial revolution has made it better, and easier to manufacture a secure handcuff.

Read more about the first ever Handcuff Day at

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Why is February 20th National Handcuff Day? February 20th was chosen because it is…