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5 Favorites: Classic Made-in-the-USA Wooden Clothespins

Until recently, you couldn’t find an American-made wooden clothespin (the last manufacturer in the country ceased production in 2002). But several small producers are now making sturdy, handsome hardwood clothespins designed to last a lifetime. Patented in 1853 by David M. Smith, an inventor from Springfield, Vermont, the spring-hinged wooden clothespin was a staple of American clotheslines until December 2002, when the Penley Corporation in Maine stopped making them. In response, Greg and Julie Baka, the owners of Best Drying Rack, launched a Clothespin Challenge, inviting craftspeople to make a sturdy clothespin they could sell on their site. Here are five to buy.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin’s Quality Clothespins offers a Set of 10 Clothespins for $14.90 (the pins are made of maple with American-made springs; each pin is 3.5 inches long).
Above: Based in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin’s Quality Clothespins offers a Set of 10 Clothespins for $14.90 (the pins are made of maple with American-made springs; each pin is 3.5 inches long).
Vermont native Herrick Kimball (author of The Deliberate Agrarian blog) got into the clothespin game a few years ago; he sells his Classic American Clothespins, which are treated with tung oil, for $2.20 each.
Above: Vermont native Herrick Kimball (author of The Deliberate Agrarian blog) got into the clothespin game a few years ago; he sells his Classic American Clothespins, which are treated with tung oil, for $2.20 each.

When he decided to start his business, Kimball found an American spring manufacturer to supply him with heavy-gauge, tight-coil, custom stainless steel springs (“the heart of a great clothespin is a quality spring,” he says). He chose ash wood “for its strength and excellent weathering qualities, and also because it darkens to a lovely patina.”

Operating under III and IV Woodworks, Albert Crooks and his teenage son manufacture handmade Clothespins in Harrison Township, Michigan, made of solid ash and treated with tung oil. The photo above shows their handmade clothespin on the left and an imported pin on the right; $1.75 each.
Above: Operating under III and IV Woodworks, Albert Crooks and his teenage son manufacture handmade Clothespins in Harrison Township, Michigan, made of solid ash and treated with tung oil. The photo above shows their handmade clothespin on the left and an imported pin on the right; $1.75 each.
The Clothespin Corner makes Clothespins that are wider and stronger than machine-made pins; $12 for a set of six.
Above: The Clothespin Corner makes Clothespins that are wider and stronger than machine-made pins; $12 for a set of six.
Mefford Endeavors in Morris, Connecticut sells Heavy Duty Clothespins made of sugar maple wood and stainless steel; $17.50 for a set of 10.
Above: Mefford Endeavors in Morris, Connecticut sells Heavy Duty Clothespins made of sugar maple wood and stainless steel; $17.50 for a set of 10.

Want more laundry-related finds? Christine discovered the Best Drying Rack from Columbia, Missouri. I have my eye on a Canadian-Made Laundry Pulley, and Megan pointed us to the Sheila Maid Clothes Airer

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