(WYTV)- From the website Atlas Obscura, before women had mace to protect themselves, they had hatpins.
Between the late 1880s and the early 1920s, women’s hats began to grow larger and larger to cover larger hairstyles.

Women had to pin on those hats and began using large needles, up to nine, ten, 11 inches long.

And at this time, women began walking alone and some men found that morally offensive, or tempting.
Unchaperoned women were targets and to defend themselves, they began reaching up for their hairpins.
Men suddenly found themselves facing a flashing steel needle coming right at their faces, a legal weapon, until men began passing laws against long needles.

Pittsburgh had such a law. So did Chicago, so did Hamburg, Germany and Paris, France.

The hatpin was only valuable so long as women wore large hats, by the 1920’s women wore their hair much shorter, their hats were smaller, no pins needed and the hatpin defense, and hatpin laws, faded with the times.