National Handcuff Day

National Handcuff Day is observed next on Thursday, February 20th, 2025 (244 days from today).

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National Handcuffs Day is celebrated on February 20 every year. It is a celebration to honor the design of George A.Carney's Handcuff which is simpler and more comfortable to use than older Handcuff models. Handcuffs are devices used to immobilize a person's wrists close together.

History of National Handcuff Day

On February 20 in 1912, George A. Carney was granted a patent for an adjustable swing arm, ratchet handcuffs. The weight of the Carney Handcuffs is quite light, instead of the heavy and bulky cuffs as standard, and they are standardized in size, unlike previous handcuffs. Since its invention, Carney's swivel handcuffs have become the handcuffs that followed.

Handcuffs are used by many types of law enforcement officers and are used in prisons and prisons. They are worn on the wrists of prisoners to prevent them from escaping, and maneuvering in other ways or causing harm to those around them. Handcuffs are also used by escape artists. Escape artists and others can escape handcuffs by picking, cutting, or cracking them. Some people also collect handcuffs.

Handcuffs began to be developed before the criminal justice system. The first armchairs were made from animal hides and vines. During the Greco-Punic Wars between the Greeks and the Carthaginians, which began in 600 BC, chains and iron ties were used as restraints. They are similar to shackles and have only one size. Descriptions of restraint akin to handcuffs appear in the writings of Virgil, dating back to 70 BC. The handcuffs have the function of tightening or loosening to fit the person's size and are easy to put on and transport. However, they are not mass-produced because the technology is not yet available. In 500 C.E. in Europe, the shackles had a hinged design for better closure around the wrist.

During 19th century Europe, handcuffs were equipped with hinges, standard keys and ratchet mechanisms for adjustment. This is not perfect, as some prisoners are still too big or too small, and the keys are screw keys that take a long time to tighten. In America in 1862, W.V. Adams filed a patent for the first adjustable ratchet handcuffs. It improved on the English handcuffs - making them lighter and smaller, and easier to break and lock.

George Carney's design, known as the "rotating cuff design", features a single thread and a double thread. The handcuffs won't lock unless there's something stopping them from swinging to the other side. Carney's patent was purchased by the Peerless Handcuff Company, which came up with a "double-locking cuff", which prevented the ratchet mechanism from loosening and tightening. Peerless also introduced the barrel-style key that has become standard. The only other real changes since Carney's patent are the types of metal used, making it consistent with National Handcuffs Day that will take place on the anniversary of his patent.

How to celebrate National Handcuff Day

To celebrate this historic occasion, organizers hold an annual Handcuff Day Contest. This is in the form of a quiz that tests one's knowledge about handcuffs. Successful entrants have a chance to win an unparalleled 100th anniversary handcuff. Questions were asked about some of the following handcuff puzzles:

  • The number of nickel handcuffs manufactured by the Peerless® Handcuff Company
  • When the Peerless® Handcuff Company started selling handcuffs with their own original brand
  • Other handcuffs brands, for example Rivolier handcuffs, originate from
  • What kind of handcuffs are used in China
  • Which brand(s) of handcuffs was discontinued, then reintroduced and why
  • Who did the Gill Flash Action manager introduce and when it happened?
  • How much are the standard and types of handcuffs?
  • How many handcuffs have been produced by the Peerless® Handcuff Company?
  • Which handcuff model is made from stainless steel?
  • What kind of handcuffs were worn by people suspected of conspiring against Abraham Lincoln?

The 100th Anniversary Unparalleled Handcuffs Collection is a unique gift. Because of a limited edition collection, it is to endure the rigors of law enforcement. It has a highly polished nickel plated finish with distinctive engravings and a unique serial number, making it a truly exciting prize for those interested in law enforcement history.

However, some people have begun to take an interest in the ratchet adjustment handcuff design, considering that its vogue era is over. They argued that it was entirely possible to get rid of this type of handcuff using a simple bobby pin to pick the padlock and get free almost instantly.

Another issue to be aware of is that Peerless® handcuffs are also available for illegal use by the public, and are, in fact, commonly used; especially during home invasions.

Furthermore, the Peerless® handcuffs are sometimes used by police impersonators to detain innocent people. Due to all reasons, some people are worried that while there have been many amazing technological developments over the past few decades, police are still using handcuffs based on a design from more than 100 years ago.

These folks believe that as cool as Carney's invention is, we should really move on to new ideas and designs, so that all that's left of the Peerless® handcuffs will in fact be vacations.


National Handcuff Day has been observed annually on February 20th.


Monday, February 20th, 2023

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Thursday, February 20th, 2025

Friday, February 20th, 2026

Saturday, February 20th, 2027

Also on Thursday, February 20th, 2025