History 5 Lesson 110

Clothes Hanger

There’s little info on the clothes hanger. O.A. North invented clothes hangers in 1869. Clothes hangers store our clothes. Their shapes help keep them from wrinkling. There are various kinds of hangers. There are extra features for folding pants over. There are clips for hanging pants and dresses. It became important in small New York apartments. Albert Parker invented a wire hanger in 1903. He improved his design and asked fellow employees to try. Clothes hangers were used in department store displays. 

Rotary Can Opener 

William Lyman was born in Connecticut in 1821. He apprenticed to a mentor-making company. He developed metalworking skills. Lyman invented several products on the side. He invented the rotary can opener in 1870. Can openers simplify opening tin cans. It uses gear wheels to handle wing nuts to grip the can. Lyman’s version punctured the center of the top. Modern versions grip the can and turn it as you turn the wing nut. Allows most anyone to easily open sealed cans. Tin cans first supplied food to troops. Civil war soldiers opened condensed milk with a manual can opener. Then an improved version appeared in 1925. 

Mail Order Catalog

Aron Montgomaery was born in New Jersey in 1844. He became a shoe salesman. He moved to Chicago at 21 and learned of rural complaints. Montgomery devised an idea to improve the rural service. He invented the mail-order catalog in 1872. Allows people to shop from home. The mail order catalog is a publication that contains listings of merchandise. Products are cheaper in catalogs than in general stores. Placed orders over the phone or through the mail Catalog companies rented mailing lists. Ward wrote all the copies for his catalogs. He focused on distrusting rural farmers. Featured over 20,000 items in just 20 years. Created the “Satisfaction guarantee or you get you money back” Policy. 


Chester Greenwood was born in Main in 1858. Ice skating and wind were brutal on the ears. So are headphones if the music’s it turned up too loud. But that’s getting off topic. Greenwood was a pro life inator. He invented earmuffs with help from his grandmother in 1873. They keep our ears warm in cold and windy weather. Thermal earmuffs traffic heat in. Acoustic earmuffs protect ears from hearing damage. I have some that I use when we go to the shooting range. Again kinda off topic. Noise-cancelling headphones reverse incoming sounds. They allow us to work in harsh conditions. Greenwood built a production factory. Farmisgtom celebrates Greenwood’s earmuff every year. Acoustic earmuffs appeared for WW2 pilots.                

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