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5 Favorites: Classic Made-in-the-USA Wooden Clothespins

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5 Favorites: Classic Made-in-the-USA Wooden Clothespins

Julie Carlson September 18, 2014

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.

Above: Vermont Clothespins makes its springs and wooden arms on original spring winding and woodcutting machines that were designed and built in Vermont over 100 years ago. The wood is Vermont maple and American beech and the springs are brass-plated. A set of 16 Clothespins is $25 (for another $25, they’ll throw in a Linen Clothespin Sack, available with either black or dark green trim).

Above: Based in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin’s Quality Clothespins offers a Set of 10 Clothespins for $17.25 (the pins are made of maple with American-made springs; each pin is 3.5 inches long). Kevin’s clothespins are also available at Best Drying Rack and on Etsy via The Lady and the Carpenter.

Above: Vermont native Herrick Kimball (author of The Deliberate Agrarian blog) recently got into the clothespin game; he sells his Classic American Clothespins, which are treated with tung oil, for $2 each. When he decided to start his business, Kimball found an American spring manufacturer to supply him with heavy-guage, tight-coil, custom stainless steel springs (“the heart of a great clothespin is a quality spring,” he says). He chose ash “for its strength and excellent weathering qualities, and also because it darkens to a lovely patina.” Kimball has sold 12,000 of his clothespins and is working on a new batch that will be ready for the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.

Above: Made by LA woodworker Lee Build, a set of four Hand-Carved Clothespins is $30 from Otherwild.

Above: Finally, there’s always the vintage route: A set of 36 Vintage Clothespins is $18 from Etsy seller Anything Goes Here. Photograph by Colleen Doyle of the No Trash Project.

Want more laundry-related finds? Our own 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 AirerOur own 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

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