The metal pin illustrated was once the only way, that did not involve cutting and folding, to join items of paper together. Staples and paper clips did not exist.
Pins and Needles were made in water powered mills in a difficult process to produce quality products. Until the patenting of a fully mechanised process in around 1824 they were very expensive.
The wire the pins were made from was drawn through metal dyes according to the thickness required and cut to length. Each item had to be sharpened by hand and a neck made at the other end.
Children, who had small hands, were employed to wind fine wire around the neck to make the head, which was cut and soldered into place. The product was tinned using molten metal and then placed into drums to tumble them smooth and to polish them.
Putting the items into folded paper packages was a manufacturing process that came later. Prior to that they were sold by item or weight.
Machine photo © 2008-2020, Forge Mill Needle Museum