Walter Hunt, a Martinsburg native, was credited with inventing the safety pin and the sewing machine. However, Mr. Hunt actually invented many more useful and everyday practical things. He was responsible for inventing a machine to make rope, a grindstone for sharpening knives, a device for separating wool and cotton, a flax spinner, an ice plow, a food warming steam table, printing press rollers, and a coach horn that was actually a forerunner of the auto horn. There were plenty more inventions.
Although a genius inventor, he was not a business man. He did not patent his inventions. Had he done so, he could have been a very wealthy man. Mr. Hunt was not interested in wealth or fame.
On Martinsburg Day, 2017, Walter Hunt was named the "Citizen of the Year" for his contributions that impacted our every day living. We are proud to say he is from Martinsburg .
Mr. Hunt's sewing machine
CITIZEN OF THE YEAR