National Handcuff Day

National Handcuff Day is a holiday observed annually on February 20th, celebrating the restraint devices used by police and security forces worldwide. They consist of two parts linked together either by a chain or sometimes by a rigid bar or hinge.

Once locked around a person’s wrists, they cannot be opened by the person being restrained. Although it may seem strange that someone would base an entire holiday around these restraints, evidently, someone went ahead and did it. So, let’s all come together and celebrate a device that has been around since the 17th century.

The History of National Handcuff Day

Although wrist and leg restraints have been around for hundreds of years, the first pair of handcuffs as a one-size-fits-all device did not emerge in its modern form until the 19th century, even though manacles and shackles existed long before then.

This is when W.V. Adams revolutionized the device with the invention of adjustable ratchets that could bind wrists tightly or loosely together. On February 20th, 1912, the U.S. Patent Office issued a patent for a swinging bow-ratcheting style of adjustable handcuffs. This is why this holiday is observed on this day.

Some Interesting Facts About Handcuffs

We don’t have much to say about handcuffs, but we’ve collected some pretty interesting facts about them. So, we guess we’ll just present the facts we found for everyone to enjoy while they’re observing National Handcuff Day. Let’s take a peek.

  • The handcuff was originally used during the 16th century as a decorative sleeve band and not as a type of restraining device.
  • It was first used to describe a restraining device during the mid-17th century.
  • George Carney invented the first modern self-locking adjustable ratchet handcuffs in 1912.
  • There are over 650 different handcuff-related patents in the European Patent Office.
  • The phrase “Golden Handcuffs” was first coined during the mid-1970s to describe work benefits that made it hard for an employee to leave their job.

Observing National Handcuff Day

Well, anyone wishing to celebrate National Handcuff Day can do so by learning more about handcuffs or maybe even buying themselves a pair of plastic ones for playing around with. People can also spread historical tidbits about handcuffs across the Internet using the hashtag #NationalHandcuffDay.

When is it?
This year (2024)
February 20 Tuesday
Next year (2025)
February 20 Thursday
Last year (2023)
February 20 Monday
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