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Quiz about Thimbles Not as Simple as they Seem
Quiz about Thimbles Not as Simple as they Seem

Thimbles: Not as Simple as they Seem Quiz


Being an avid user of thimbles, I decided to create a quiz on them.

A multiple-choice quiz by jojanne1974. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
jojanne1974
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
319,258
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
568
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
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Question 1 of 10
1. Thimbles have a wide variety of uses, but in the simplest, original form what are thimbles used for? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. What is the name for someone who collects thimbles? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. All thimbles have dimpled indents on their sides. What are these dimples called? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. How does a thimblette differ from a thimble? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. During the Victorian time, thimble-knocking became a popular practice. What is thimble-knocking? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. There is an old saying "just a thimbleful" meaning that the thimble was used as a form of measurement. What was most commonly measured by the thimbleful? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. A popular brand of thimbles are the Dorcas Thimbles, who is responsible for creating this brand of thimbles? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What is the fingerhutverein? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. With the introduction of the more advanced sailing ships, reliable sails became necessary, what kind of thimble was developed specifically for assisting in creating these sails? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Many major historical events and people have been commemorated on thimbles. Which of the following has been depicted on a thimble? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Thimbles have a wide variety of uses, but in the simplest, original form what are thimbles used for?

Answer: To assist with sewing

Thimbles are, in the simplest form, used for helping with sewing. They are worn (usually) on the middle finger to help push needles. Thimbles also offer protection to the finger from a miss aimed needle. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and from plain to extremely decorated. Early thimbles were made from wood, bone, leather, ivory, tin, bronze, brass, silver, gold and iron. Until the invention of thimble molds early thimbles were crafted by hand, making each one an original. John Lofting introduced the commercial production of brass thimbles in Britain in 1693. The earliest known thimble was found at Pompeii and is of Roman origin, it was a bronze thimble, and has been dated from the first century. The word origin for thimbles is in Old English thymel which means thumbstall, in Germany the word thimble means fingerhut literally meaning finger hat.
Thimbles or some form of a thimble can be found throughout history and in every society. The game Monopoly has a token that is a thimble. During the Second World War, thimbles were collected and melted down, they went towards creating hospital equipment.
Stephen Cruise, in 1997, on the corner of Richard Street and Spadina Avenue in Toronto, Ontario, created a nine foot tall thimble and buttons statue. He called this statue the "Uniform Measure/Stack" which consisted of eight buttons and a bronze thimble sitting on top. This area of Toronto had previously been the center of the garment factories. To see a picture of the statue or to read more please see http://spacing.ca/wire/2006/12/11/thimble-art-starts-to-measure-up/.
2. What is the name for someone who collects thimbles?

Answer: Digitabulist

Thimbles have been considered through out history to be good luck. A Digitabulist is someone that collects thimbles. The Fingerhut Museum in Creglingen Germany (http://bizarreplaces.blogspot.com/2008/09/fingerhut-museum-in-creglingen-germany.html) is a museum dedicated solely to thimbles. Thimbles have been used for more than the practical sewing aid; they have also been used as a method of for advertising.

Some things that have been advertised on thimbles are teas, cough syrup, soap, cocoa, milk, boat polish, bread, insurance and politicians. The Royal Worcester thimbles are the most looked-for thimbles when collecting, they are beautifully hand painted and some of these thimbles contain the name of the painter.

The most practical thimbles are the Dorcas thimbles; these are solid, durable thimbles. Wooden thimbles especially those from Germany are a prized collection items but are exceptionally rare. Along with thimbles collectors also collect the thimble cases.

These cases were used to keep thimbles safe from being misplaced or lost.

The cases like the thimbles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, colours, and can be plain to overly decorated. Wood is the most common type of material used for the thimble cases.
3. All thimbles have dimpled indents on their sides. What are these dimples called?

Answer: Knurlings

Knurlings are the dimpled indents on the side of the thimble. These knurlings are a safety feature; they provide a grip for any stray needles. Before the 18th century, all of the small dimples were added by hand. Each thimble could have an original design, pattern, or words created with these dimples. By the mid-18th century these dimples were created by a machine.
The sewing machine was not invented until the 1850's by Isaac Singer, but sewing was a necessity. For middle and upper class women, needlework (sewing and embroidery) was a means to occupying time. Thimbles assist in sewing. Girls were taught to sew/embroider at a young age, and they became quickly adapted to using a thimble, which was considered a valuable possession.
Knurling come from the machine that creates the dimples. The machine "knurled" (pushed into the thimble creating the dimple) when a wheel was turned.
4. How does a thimblette differ from a thimble?

Answer: It's made from rubber and not for sewing

Thimblettes are not used for sewing. They are worn on the finger like a thimble, but are made from rubber. The thimblette is also softer and more pliable than a regular sewing thimble. They can come in a variety of colours, as well as having the same dimples that a regular thimble has. Thimblettes are used for assisting with shuffling through documents, money and forms.
5. During the Victorian time, thimble-knocking became a popular practice. What is thimble-knocking?

Answer: Hitting the top of a disobedient student's head with a iron thimble

Thimble-knocking is also called thimmelpie. This was brought into practice by Victorian school teachers. They would use an iron thimble and hit the top of the head of the disobedient student. This method was used to help encourage the student to pay more attention. This "knocking" on the head with a thimble is how the term thimble-knocking developed.
6. There is an old saying "just a thimbleful" meaning that the thimble was used as a form of measurement. What was most commonly measured by the thimbleful?

Answer: Alcohol

Thimbles were used to measure alcohol. This is where the saying "just a thimbleful" originated. The impression that is created by just a thimble full, is that the person would only be consuming a small amount. A thimbleful thimble is traditionally larger than a regular thimble, measuring two inches high, and holds an average of 50mm.

These thimbles had a special flat base (traditionally thimbles have a rounded top) to prevent wobbling, and were actually called thimblefuls.
7. A popular brand of thimbles are the Dorcas Thimbles, who is responsible for creating this brand of thimbles?

Answer: Charles Horner

Charles Horner (1837-1896) owned a jewellery business and he sold thimbles. Specifically he sold gold and silver thimbles; he saw that these thimbles were pretty, but not practical. These thimbles were soft and they would bend and dent easily. During the 1880's Horner patented a steel core for these thimbles.

He called them Dorcas. These Dorcas has a strong steel core that was "sandwiched" between two silver layers. This added the durability that was needed in a thimble, but allowed the thimble to remain pretty. To approximate a date for a Dorcas thimble check the rim of the thimble. If the rim has the name Dorcas on it, it was produced after 1905, prior to that date only the word PAT (for patent) and a registration number were displayed.
8. What is the fingerhutverein?

Answer: Thimble Society

At the Fingerhut Museum (a museum that is dedicated to thimbles) in Creglingen Germany, there is the Fingerhutverein. This is known as the Thimble Society. According to their website http://www.romanticroad.com/fingerhutmuseum/default.htm, the Thimble Society has approximately 400 members.

This Society has an annual meeting the first weekend of May. At this meeting various thimble related events as well as new and old thimbles are discussed.
9. With the introduction of the more advanced sailing ships, reliable sails became necessary, what kind of thimble was developed specifically for assisting in creating these sails?

Answer: Sailor's Palm

With the introduction of sailing ships, more durable, reliable sails became necessary. These sails needed to be sewn. This need led to the creation of the sailor's palm. This is a thimble for the hand. Unlike the small thimble that is worn on a finger, the sailor's palm was a metal plate cover in a tough leather, there were holes cut for the thumb and fingers.

The metal plate would sit in the palm of the hand. Earlier threads and fabrics were coarser than today's threads and fabrics, and needles were not as smooth or polished.

While sewing a sail, some form of protection was needed. The sailor's palm offered hand protection as well as it would help force the strong needle through the tough, coarse sail material.
10. Many major historical events and people have been commemorated on thimbles. Which of the following has been depicted on a thimble?

Answer: Every one of these as well as many more

Thimbles may be practical; they protect the fingers while sewing. But they have also been used for advertisements and as a form of commemoration for specific events. Several people, places, and events have depicted on thimbles. Royalty has been commemorated on several thimbles, Diana Princess of Wales, the Silver Jubilee of King George and Queen Mary, Charles and Diana's wedding, Sarah and Andrew's wedding, and the Queen's 60th birthday. The Papal visit of 1982 can also be found on a thimble as well as the 1999 eclipse. Neville Chamberlain's start of World War Two, September 3rd, 1939 speech has been commemorated on a thimble.
Some commemorative thimbles are done as a series, such as the D-Day thimbles, this series has 4 thimbles (the cost, shows a field of crosses, the landing, the preparation and the plan.) Another thimble series is the Peter Pan centenary, with Peter, Wendy, Michael, the Crocodile, Tinkerbell and Captain Hook each having their own thimble.
Several famous people have had their images placed on thimbles, Mother Teresa, Tony Blair, Ronald Regan, John Inman, Paul Newman, Charles Heston, Butch Cassidy, Rebecca Adlington, Laura Robinson and many more.
To see a wider variety of commemorative thimbles, please see www.thethimbleguild.com.

Thimbles are centuries old, as long as there has been some form of sewing there have been some form of an aid to help with the sewing. With the appearance of threads and textiles, thimbles were created out of necessity. But they have evolved over time from just being a practical aid for sewing. They have been considered good luck, a prized wedding present, a method of measuring, used for advertising, and commemorative.
Source: Author jojanne1974

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