There are many mysteries in the universe, even in my daily life, to which there seems not to be any clarification. Particularly many that have to do with doing the laundry, such as: why does one of the socks always get left behind in the washer, why socks disappear in the drier, why the pillow case gets entangled into the comforter case in the drier and - the most mysterious one - why am I ALWAYS out of clothes hangers.
No matter how often I buy new ones, they seem to be magically gone within weeks. There is no logical explanation to this. I do buy more clothes of course, but I also discard old clothes, so all in all, this should lead to some sort of status quo. But no such thing, they seem to be gone almost immediately once brought home. I start to suspect a clothes hanger eating monster is living in my house.
As I was doing my laundry this past Sunday, again frantically looking for hangers around in my house, I got to think about their history. I was wondering about where this nifty tool that I seem not to be able to live without, came from. And yes, there is plenty of articles out there written about the origins of the clothes hanger, or as it is called as well, the coat hanger.
The invention of the hanger is attributed to Albert J. Parkhouse. And it even comes with an amusing story. Quoted from this site:
"One morning in 1903, Albert J. Parkhouse arrived as usual at his workplace, the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company in Jackson, Michigan, which specialized in making lampshade frames and other wire items. When he went to hang his hat and coat on the hooks provided for the workers, Parkhouse found all were in use.
Annoyed-and inspired-Parkhouse picked up a piece of wire, bent it into two large oblong hoops opposite each other, and twisted both ends at the center into a hook. Then he hung up his coat and went to work. The company apparently thought it was a good idea, because they took out a patent on it. In those days, companies were allowed to take out patents on any of their employees’ inventions. Attorney Charles l. Patterson applied for the patent on january 25, 1904, and U.S. patent # 822,981 was granted and assigned to John B. Timberlake. (Patterson put his own name on the line that asked for 'name of inventor.) Timberlake owned the company that Parkhouse worked for. The company made a fortune; Parkhouse never got a penny."
How unfair life is indeed. I will never look at a hanger in the same way again, I believe.