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.
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.”
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.