An ordinary device a lot of people use in their everyday life without even knowing it is a ball chain. They are undeniably one of those items that have a plethora of uses. They are dainty enough to adorn jewelry, yet robust enough to secure dog tags to a soldier’s neck.
The chains are little hollow balls which are rolled into spheres at a manufacturing plant. Each ball is then linked to the next one by a small rod. They are attached to each other to create a long strand. They are constructed in such a way that they are smooth and do not kink like other chains. If a long chain of them has become lumped together in a lump, they can untangle without difficulty because each of the rods acts as a swivel. Using just the fingers an individual can very easily snap the ends of the chain together. No special tools required. It is said that a chain should be only as strong as its weakest link and the same can be said of these forms of chains. The word to describe their strength is tensile, meaning the amount of force at which they will break. Because of the way they are constructed the chains will not hold a whole lot of weight.
The balls can be made out of an array of resources. Most are made from more durable and sturdy stainless steel. Based upon their intended use they may also be created from copper, gun metal or brass. Higher end versions are produced by custom order out of sterling silver. Each metal features its own particular strength characteristics. To make them more like a fashion accessories, the beads of the chain can be painted practically any color. So they can easily last even longer, they can have a more robust coating applied to them like black or white paint.
The chains are used for any number of household applications. They aren’t only used for jewelry and key rings, these chains are used for luggage tags and in some cases musical instruments. They are also used as pull cords for turning off and on lights, especially in the closets of older homes. Used in basements and garages, these pull cords are widely-used for a number of tasks. Many ceiling fans work with a chain of some sort to either power the fan or the attached lighting fixtures or both. They are popular with outdoorsmen to use with fishing equipment. They can be found in novelty stores where they are distributed as necklaces and party favors. For commercialized use, these chains can be bought in large rolls. One beneficial feature of the chains is that they can be cut to virtually any length with wire cutters or high quality scissors.
A wide array of attachments can be combined with a ball chain to enhance its usefulness. There are also alligator clips that could be added to the end of a chain so it will clamp onto a solid object. To allow for small sized chains to be added to each other, there are hooks and connectors available. Companies continue to enhance the basic design concept of these handy chains even though they have used for more than a century. Lots of the attachments and manufacturing methods used for these ball chains are protected by US patients. Most of these patents were granted when the products were first being produced in higher quantities. The chains are now mostly produced in the United States and in production facilities in Asia.