Albert J. Parkhouse Invents the Wire Coat Hanger

About Albert J. Parkhouse inventor of the wire coat hanger.


From: BARBARA MUSSELL (Woodland Hills, Calif.)

In about 1903, my grandfather, Albert J. Parkhouse, worked for the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company of Jackson, Mich. The company mostly made lampshade frames and other wire items.

When the men came to work, they would always hang their coats and hats on hooks provided for them. But there were never enough, and the coats would get wrinkled. One day my grandfather got mad and picked up a piece of wire, bent it into two large oblong hoops opposite each other, and twisted both ends at the center, where a hook had been formed by twisting the middle together. He bent the outside of the loops at a slight angle upward so that his coat would sit just right, and then he hung it up.

I guess the company thought it was a good idea, because they took out a patent on his idea. In those days, companies were allowed to take out patents on any of their employees' inventions, and as far as I know, my grandfather never got a single penny.

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