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National Handcuff Day

Learn about the origins of handcuffs on the day that George A. Carney was issued a patent.
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When it is?
February 20
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United States

Celebrate National Handcuff Day on Feb. 20 and get ready to honor one of the earliest forms of restraint! This day commemorates the invention of handcuffs, which have been used as a form of law enforcement since at least the 5th century BC. Since then, handcuff designs have evolved over time to become more sophisticated and secure, but their purpose remains unchanged - to keep people safe by restricting their movement. So take some time out of your day to recognize this important tool and all those who use them!

History of National Handcuff Day

National Handcuff Day Dates

National Handcuff Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1400s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Metal Handcuffs Introduced</div><div class='timeline-text'>In the Middle Ages, metal handcuffs began to replace earlier forms of restraints, which were often made from rope or animal hides.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1862</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Wrist-Restraining Handcuffs Patented</div><div class='timeline-text'>W. V. Adams was granted a patent for a new style of handcuffs that placed the restraint over the wrists, rather than the fingers or thumbs.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1912</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Carney's Swinging Handcuff Patent</div><div class='timeline-text'>George A. Carney was awarded a patent for his design of a "swinging bow" ratchet - type handcuff.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1938</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Modern Handcuffs Design</div><div class='timeline-text'>James Milton Gill patented a new handcuff design, featuring a single strand rather than double strand. This model is still widely used today.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1970s</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Special Handcuffs Developed</div><div class='timeline-text'>In the late 20th century, several new types of handcuffs were developed to meet specific needs, such as hinged handcuffs and leg cuffs.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2010</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>National Handcuff Day Established</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first annual National Handcuff Day was celebrated, honoring the importance and history of handcuffs in law enforcement.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate National Handcuff Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Make your own handcuffs</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Making handcuffs is easier than you might think. All you need is a few pieces of string, a couple of paperclips, and some washers to make your own homemade set.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Play handcuff tag</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>One person is "it" and everyone else has to try to get away from them by running. If the person who is "it" catches someone else, they handcuff them with their homemade handcuffs.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Go out for handcuffs</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Check out your local police supply store and buy a real set of handcuffs to use on National Handcuff Day. You may even be able to find some novelty handcuffs if you're lucky.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Take a handcuffing class</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>See if your local police station offers handcuffing classes for civilians. This is a great way to learn about proper handcuffing techniques and safety protocols for using handcuffs.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a handcuff party</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Invite your friends over for a night of handcuff fun. Play games like Handcuff Charades or Truth or Dare, or just hang out and have fun with the handcuffs.</p></div></div>

Why We Love National Handcuff Day

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Handcuffs can be a symbolic representation of strength and empowerment</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Although the use of handcuffs may seem intimidating, it can also serve as a reminder that we are all in control of our own destiny. Handcuffs are a symbol of protection and security, and connecting with this empowering mentality can help motivate us to reach our goals and create positive change in our lives.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>Handcuffs provide an element of fun to any activity</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Whether you want to use them for adventure activities like paintball or airsoft, or just for some silly role playing fun, handcuffs can add an exciting twist to almost anything! Plus, they make great props for themed photoshoots or cosplays - the possibilities are endless!</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>They have a long history and deep cultural significance</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Handcuffs date back centuries and are thought to be derived from ancient Chinese shackles used for torture and punishment. But though their purpose has evolved over time, they still evoke strong emotions among many people - which is why National Handcuff Day is so important!</p></div></div>

5 Facts About the Use of Handcuffs

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Handcuffs Have Ancient Origins</h3><p class='facts-content'>Dating back to Greek and Roman times, the practice of restraining a person’s hands was common. The early handcuffs were made of rope or other available materials.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Modern Handcuffs Were Patented in 1862</h3><p class='facts-content'>The design of modern handcuffs as we know them today was officially patented on February 20, 1862, by W. V. Adams, which is why National Handcuff Day is celebrated on February 20.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Handcuffs Are Universally Sized</h3><p class='facts-content'>Handcuffs have a universal size designed to restrain most human wrists, allowing law enforcement to carry a standard tool that fits a broad range of individuals.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Some Handcuffs Are Designed with Safety Features</h3><p class='facts-content'>Many modern handcuffs have a double-locking mechanism that prevents them from tightening further after being applied. This is to ensure that the handcuffs do not cause injury to the person's wrists.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Handcuffs Are Used in Various Disciplines</h3><p class='facts-content'>Apart from law enforcement, handcuffs are also used in the realm of magic tricks and escapology, demonstrating the skill of a performer to escape from locked handcuffs.</p></div></div>

National Handcuff Day FAQs

When is National Handcuff Day?

National Handcuff Day is celebrated on February 20 every year. In 2024 National Handcuff Day will occur on a Tuesday.

National Handcuff Day Dates



Feb 20



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Feb 20



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Feb 20


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