c catch | ˈsē ˈkach
The most common means of securing a brooch before safety catches were invented
While brooches have been worn for millennia, they could easily be lost if they fell off the wearer. Around the mid-1850s, artisans began creating catches, which predated fasteners, for broaches. Among the earliest types of catches invented by artisans was the c catch. This catch, named after its shape which resembles the letter “c,” was typically made by hand. It was formed of a simple metal band that was shaped like the letter “c.” To safely and securely wear the brooch, the wearer placed it’s pin first in then out of her blouse’s fabric, then depressed the pin so that it slipped in the curved catch. The tension created by the c catch kept the pin, and thus, the brooch, in place. While it was an early attempt to help women from losing their brooches, the c catch was not entirely effective. It was easy for pins to slip out of the c catch and for brooches to fall, break, or get lost. Due to this, the c catch stopped being fashioned around 1910 as early safety catches gained popularity for being more reliable and secure.