Posted by: Ed Darrell | September 1, 2011

Looking for Mr. Darrell’s economics site, the Pin Factory?

This is not the blog for the economics class.  Please read this post carefully.

We don’t yet have a link to the economics site from the Molina Teacher pages.  This is a problem since I teach students in two different subjects.

If you are looking for the blog to accompany Mr. Darrell’s economics class, Mr. Darrell’s Pin Factory, click here.  It’s at

Illustration of a pin factory, from Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations"

Illustration of the famous pin factory, from Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”

I repeat:  This is not the blog for the economics class.  Mr. Darrell’s Pin Factory is here.


  1. Nice picture, Mr. Darrell…..

    But I can’t really tell what they’re doing?
    Working? Cooking?

    • If it’s the black and white picture, they’re working in a pin factory, manufacturing pins. A soap factory wouldn’t look much different, though.

  2. Nice site Mr.Darrell keep info coming.

  3. Are they building something, or what? Cause I don’t get it.

  4. I don’t understand what they are doing? Are they showing how production was in the pass????

    • Adam Smith wrote The Wealth of Nations in 1776, describing conditions that we would now call free markets, and describing how some nations were able to produce much more wealth than others.

      One of his examples was a pin factory, as pictured here. Traditionally, one person would make pins, one at a time, cutting wire to the appropriate length for one pin, attaching the head to a wire, sharpening the wire point to make it a pin, packaging the pins, etc.. It was time consuming — but important to tailors and others who worked with cloth — and not very efficient. Smith saw a factory where workers were trained to do just one small part of the pin making. One person did nothing but cut the wires. Another did nothing but attach the heads. A third did nothing but sharpen the points. A fourth took the completed pins and packaged them.

      That’s what the etching is supposed to show, the more efficient pin factory where people specialize in one job, and therefore get better at that one job than others who do all the jobs can, and how that specialization then multiplies the productivity of the factory.

      Follow the hot links to the blog for the economics class, and read the story there.

      Especially follow that link, Geezzet, and Alexandra, because that economics blog is where you’re supposed to be — not here at the history blog.

      You should be here:

  5. mr darrell im working on non price deteminants that create change in supply and demand which result in a new equilibrium price. and im going to be writing a paper on it and a poster board as well.

  6. Really informative website Mr Darrell…
    Now I know about Tuesday.
    The stock market game.

  7. By the way, Erica, your comment should have gone here:

    Please change your bookmarks.

  8. Would it be possible to use the illustration of the pin factory from your site on my blog?

    Thanks in advance.


    • Please feel free — the image is public domain, from an early edition of Adam Smith’s book.

      It would be nice if you gave credit for where you found it, and nicer if you’d leave links here for how and where you used it.

      Good luck!

  9. Great thanks. I will cite the source and link to your site.

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