The very earliest example of a car or motorcycle keyring or keychain can be dated to 1952 but it was not until the mid to late 1950s that they came into general use .
How did they come about in the first place ?
They may have been the natural progression from the decorative horse brass with a brass medallion mounted onto a leather backing which had been in use on working horses and draught horses working the roads since the 1850s …………..those leather mounted medallions bear a striking resemblance to the present day keyring .
It may not be a coincidence that some of the earliest car keyrings were produced by Heath Machin of Walsall in the UK’s West Midlands – Walsall had been the centre of manufacturing of horse saddles, bridles etc and also horse brasses with products from Walsall being exported all over the world .
Horse brasses were especially popular for use on draught horses working the roads on Britain’s rapidly improving road network towards the end of the British Victorian period .