Saturday, March 17, 2007

Garments on hangers and not

A letter to the editor in response to the coathanger article points out that hangers were quite the novelty in the early part of the twentieth century and that they were often given out as promotional gifts. The writer mentions that, before hangers became common, clothing was stored in drawers or on shelves in clothespresses or else on hooks. I've only lived in two houses, and this is not one of them, with closets wide enough to take hangers any way other than at quite an angle. These, and their hooks if they remain, antedate the predominance of hangers. The hooks usually remain in closets like these whether or not a rod for hangers was added later. People did not own many garments at one time, either. Hence the importance of removable shirt collars and cuffs, pinafores, aprons, and other means of prolonging their usefulness.


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