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Derivation of findings


#1

Recently a customer whose first language is not english asked me a
question to which I had no answer. “Why are all those little things
called findings?” Anybody know? Betty


#2

Webster’s unabridged says that: Findings are the miscellaneous small
supplies used by a worker in a particular trade. Thread and buttons
are the findings for dressmakers, etc.

Alan

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street - Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570
web: http://www.revereacademy.com
email: alan@revereacademy.com


#3

Here is my answer: because I’m always dropping them and spending 30
minutes trying to find them again. Jump rings are also aptly named.

Sincerely,
JoAnna Kelleher


#4

Yeah, but Alan, Why “Findings” as opposed to a word that would be
more descriptive. The root of “findings” must be a clue to its’ use,
don’t you think? Anybody out there with an etymology background?

Linda Kaye-Moses


#5

Regarding the etymology of “findings” and “Liver of Sulphur”:
probably more than you ever wanted to know. My source is the Oxford
English Dictionary and Supplement.

There are 6 definitions for the word “finding,” of which we are
interested in the definition of the plural form, which is 4.c.:

4.c. in pl. (See quots.) Also attrib. In finding-store (U.S.). 1846
WORCESTER (citing Chute), Findings, pl., the tools and materials
used by shoemakers. 1858 SIMMONDS Dict. Trade, Findings, the wax,
thread and tools which a journeyman shoemaker has to supply himself
with for his work. Ibid, Finding-stores, an American name for what
are termed in England grindery-warehouses; shops where shoemakers’
tools, etc. are vended.

The definition in 4. c. is expanded upon in the Supplement, with
more quotes: 1896 Godey’s Mag. Feb 222/2 “The cost of findings for a
waist.” 1939 M. B. PICKEN Lang. Fashion 57/2 “Findings, threads,
tapes, buttons, bindings, hooks and eyes, slide fasteners,
Featherbone, belting, braids, and other sewing essentials used in
garment making; carried in notion departments.” 1971 Lebende Sprachen
XVI. 11/1 “US findings-BE US sewing things.”

Now for Liver of Sulphur. The definition is the fourth:

  1. In old chemical terminology, applied (translation of the Latin
    "hepar") to certain liver-coloured substances, e.g., metallic
    sulphides, and compounds of a metal or of sulphur with an ‘alkali’.
    First use was noted in 1694, but the entry from 1800, a translation
    of something called Lagranges Chem., provides an explanation for its
    use: “You fuse together equal parts of sulphur and alkali, …and the
    result will be a solid mass of a reddish brown colour, …which has a
    considerable resemblance to the liver of certain animals. It is for
    this reason that sulphurets have been called Livers.”

Christine in autumnal Littleton, Massachusetts, USA.


#6

According to one of my books on early gold and metalsmithing the
word findings originated from the box that held all the left-overs
and scrap from previously completed work when looking for a piece
to utilize at the moment. This was when handmade was indeed handmade.
They were simple seeing what they could find to work with.
Charles Hayes