Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wire Coat Hanger

If you have been reading my blog, you have learned that strange things pop into my head to write about. One day while sending my brother-in-law an e-mail, requesting some of the hangers he gets with his uniforms...I thought mmmm....who invented the coat hanger? I found out that like so many other things in life the guy who actually did the "work" did not get the credit.
In 1903, Albert J. Parkhouse arrived at the place where he worked, Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company in Jackson, Michigan. The company specialized in making lampshade frames and other wire items. When Albert started to hang his coat on the hooks provided for the workers, they were already full. This inspired Parkhouse to pick up a piece of wire and bend it into two oblong hoops and then twist both ends at the center into a hook. He hung his coat on this newly twisted piece of wire and went to work. The company thought it was a good idea and took out a patent on his hanger. In those days, companies were allowed to take out patents on any of their employees' inventions. The patent was applied for on January 25, 1904. It was granted as assigned to John B. Timberlake. Attorney Charles Patterson who applied for Timberlake's company had put his own name on the line where it ask for the name of inventor! The company made a fortune; Parkhouse never got a penny.

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