Some of the tools that help us to organize our everyday life go without notice these days. One prime example of one of these tools, is are clothes hangers. Though the hanger has a simple design and job to perform, who thought up the idea of the coat hanger and first created it?
There are a variety of uses that clothes hangers serve, and we have come to rely on a number of different types of hangers to suit various needs.
When we think of clothes hangers, most of us would envision the wire hanger, which is the most widely used, and likely was the first created, and the basis for all other future hanger designs, but prior to this well known hanger’s debut, the coat hook was utilized. In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1903, individuals searching for a way to make additional coat hooks, came up with a new concept, at the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company. The dilemma of an abundance of coats, and not enough hooks, prompted Timberlake employee, Albert J. Parkhouse, to develop a solution.
He shaped a strand of wire into two ovals, and then created the shape of a hook, by bending the ends. Thanks to Albert J. Parkhouse, the world saw it’s original standard hanger. In 1932, a patent was granted on an enhanced clothes hanger design. Mounted on the lower and upper parts of the wire, hanger designer Schuyler Hulett added cardboard tubes for wrinkle prevention, and another improvement in 1935, saw an addition of a lower cardboard tube, to accommodate pants. Dry cleaners, as well as businesses shipping clothing, still utilize this inexpensive hanger, as it is the perfect instrument for hanging clothes temporarily, and the low cost makes them disposable.
Between 1935 and the present day, clothes hangers have been continuously evolving. The majority of homes today utilize plastic coat hangers. When plastic hangers are used, you gain the benefit of the bar being more substantial for clothing to hang on, and these hangers will not bend.
Suits, coats and other expensive clothing pieces are usually displayed by retail stores on high end clothes hangers that are made from fine woods. These high end hangers have a top-notch appeal to them as well as the same general function. Thomas Jefferson is accused by some historians to have invented the wooden hanger for use in his Monticello home, which was where he created many of his handy inventions. Suits and coats are also hung on formed hangers that have the shape of shoulders on them. Many other materials make up the contents of these hangers now, as well as plastic.
It’s amazing that this extremely basic instrument, can be such a big part of our daily lives. A closet full of wrinkle free clothes, is something that we have all come to expect.