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by Peter Moskos

June 28, 2014

Who made that? And when?

The mighty flex-cuff...

Anybody know when they first appeared? I do not. And I just get a query from MOMA asking me them and I'll be damned, I have no idea. I'd like to know the answer.
I write to you with the hope that you might help with our research. We are featuring Flexicuffs and Bite/Spit Masks (the plastic iterations of both) in an upcoming post and have run into a dead end regarding their provenance. With all design objects featured on the site, we do our best to include as much "museum caption" information as possible. Unfortunately, we have found very little information as to when these two objects came into being in their plastic forms. For example, the most specific date we have for the plastic handcuffs is "1960s."

By chance do you have any additional information that would help us fill in the gaps? We have been in contact with both the Police Museum as well as the NYPD (in addition to our own independent research) and continue to draw a blank.
Personally, I always liked using proper metal handcuffs because they're easier (and more fun) to put on, but then you had to take them off to trasnfer a prisoner to the wagon. So if you knew you were going to arrest somebody, you always brought the flex-cuffs. No fuss, no muss. (Except that one time when one dumbass "unarrested" somebody and decided to remove the flex-cuffs with his pocket knife. It was a minor cut, but still...)


David Woycechowsky said...


Don't know when they were actually put into use on the mean streets.

PCM said...

Fabulous research!