During the World War I era, we ran a series of monthly contests asking readers to submit ideas for alleviating everyday inconveniences, such as the problem of staying warm, cooling off, and recycling an old automobile tire. When we asked readers to contribute ideas for using extra hairpins, they suggested everything from converting them to test-tube holders, to using them as makeshift corkscrews. Our first prize winner even told us how to turn a wire hairpin into a working resistance unit. Our second prizewinner, whose idea are illustrated on the far left, said that hairpins can be used to repair a broken automobile fan belt.
Those less inclined toward gadgetry were no less creative. One doctor used hairpins as finger splints, while a proud papa claimed that a hairpin fixed the shape of his baby daughter's "ugly stub-nose".
Read the full story in Who Won Our Hairpin Contest