Sunday, February 25, 2007

Handbasket department

The wire coathanger was invented here in the US of A, building on a process that manufactured improved bailing wire. It must all be in the twist. The inventor went on to manufacture fly-swatters and toasting forks as well. The most recent issue of Fortune (March 7) talks of one of the last remaining manufacturers of hangers and the fact that all the equipment on the floor will be shipped to China. The illustration of the plant is very beautiful, with belts and pulleys. There's a photo of a stack of just-made "caped" hangers, the ones with the paper wrapping that used to be often imprinted with name of the dry-cleaning business. The on-line version does show these photographs of the Laidlaw plant, although in greatly reduced form. Our cleaner gladly accepts returned hangers, so we never have a bad accumulation. Hangers can be recycled and are themselves made from recycled steel, mostly from used appliances.


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