Pewter is primarily made up of tin, with other alloys, such as copper, being added.
Pewter was not used for thimbles prior to the 18th century because the thimbles could not be mass-produced, like brass, and most people could not have afforded them. When they were produced, pewter thimbles were primarily decorative rather than practical. Most pewter thimbles are manufactured for the collectors market rather than being historical collectibles.
More detailed casting methods developed in the 1950s made more finely detailed pewter items possible. Since then, many thimbles, originally created in silver during Victorian times, have been reproduced in pewter. In addition pewter thimbles are being produced to commemorate such events as the US Bicentennial of 1976 or to celebrate themes such as Mother Goose or Alice in Wonderland.
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