Thursday, February 5, 2009

Vintage Thingies Thursday: Closet Fossil

I've got a goofy vintage thingy this week. I unearthed this gem a few days ago when I was cleaning out my closet. I don't know how long it's been in there, or where I got it originally. This gives you some idea of how often I sort through things in my closet.

Let's examine it, shall we? Note the phone number: 4747. It's hard for me to tell from my little bit of research, but4-digit phone numbers were probably used in rural areas until the 1950s.

The address, 541 Tyler Street in Monterey is now a liquor store in a modern building. Gone are the days when old Jimmie Hernandez handed over your shirts on a nice wooden hanger. Mr. Hernandez, wherever you are, your advertising has lasted longer than even you imagined. I've just made you immortal on the internet.

It's 3 am and I can't sleep so what the heck, let's look into the history of hangers. Did you know Thomas Jefferson is credited with inventing the first wooden one? And up until the 1920s, we all folded our clothes. It was retailers, with their enticing displays of garments on hangers that transformed us. All of us except my kids that is. They're still not much into this whole "hanging" fad.

A quick look at eBay reveals that this model of hanger is referred to as "California Style." The scary thing? If you search on "vintage hanger" on ebay it comes up with a whole slew of listings. People collect hangers.

That's it. I need to go back to bed. Wish me luck, I have another MRI today (oh joy!).

Vintage Thingies Thursday is hosted by Colorado Lady. Pay her a visit and see the vintage things that are even more interesting than this hanger. Then go impress someone with that tidbit about Thomas Jefferson. Then think good thoughts for me. Then finish something up quick so you can join me tomorrow for 'Finished for Friday.'

23 people stopped folding laundry to write:

CC said...

Love the hanger and all the info.
Happy VTT and have a wonderful day...and I so hope your MRI goes well. Blessings.

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

How interesting the hanger is. I live in rual MS and we had 4 degit phone # until the early 60s and party lines (do you remember them) untill the late 70's..lol..
The info about not hanging clothes untill the 1920s explains why so many older homes have very little closet space and they had so many Chest of drawers and dressers.
Thanks for sharing and I hope all is well with your MRI

Jewelgirl said...

I find it cool that some one took the
time to imprint a hanger with so much
information! I would google it and
see what pops up for fun....!

Protector of Vintage said...

Love the hanger and thank you for providing all the information. It was very interesting. Take care~

Miri said...

You gave me a good chuckle-thanks for all the info about hangars, especially hangar collectors! Be well!

Susan said...

Great post and love the subject. I had no idea where hangers got their start.

Lisa said...

Cute hanger! Have you seen those ones with the yarn around them? I have a bunch as I have a "challenged" aunt who makes them like crazy. I love them because nothing falls off.
Good luck with the MRI!

Coloradolady said...

This was such a fun post! I remember my mom having some wooden hangers saved for coats or sweaters. I like how yours has the cleaners name on it. I think it is very old indeed. Have a great week!

Raggedy Girl said...

What a great vintage treasure. When I was a girl we lived at Lake Tahoe CA and we had four digit phone numbers and we connected through an operator. We had party lines too....a very dangerous thing for a bunch of teen girls on a boring Friday night.
Roberta Anne

FaithChick said...

I am thinking Antique Roadshow? No? Well, just a fun thought. =)
Have a blessed day!

Lindsay-ann said...

Thanks for sharing info and a picture of your hanger. We have some old wooden ones a bit like that, I will have to have a closer look at them now.
Lindsay

gin said...

Very good post. I like getting info about vintage things. Good work!!

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

What a gem!

Eileen said...

Wow. I never thought to blog about hangers. I'm sure there are some fossils here too. Also.. closets were not a thing automatically built into houses.. if you live in an old house anywhere here in the east that has not had remodling.. you will wonder at the limited space to tuck things away out of sight.
Mom used to fold newspaper over and pin it to the hangers used for pants. I have undone some of those and found some pretty old and interesting papers.

Hope your MRI was ok today.. I know how much they bother you.

mannequin said...

Thomas Jefferson? The first wooden hanger? That is such a cool bit of trivia. I mean, for people like us. :)

Bea said...

What a great post! Thanks for the trivia.

marianedwardsdreamweaver said...

The simple clothes hanger has quite a colourful history..what a fun post :)

Terry & Dennis Macri said...

The old wood hangers are the best!!! My husband bought quite a few at a yardsale over the summer. I like using them much better than the plastic pieces that break.

Cheryl said...

What a great find, and great job on reporting the history!! What a fun post.

Widney Woman said...

That was so interesting!! Now my husband knows some history trivia as well.

I'm with my sister-in-law, FaithChick, up there. Antiques Roadshow should skip the crazies at the show and knock on your door. I am sure they could fill more than just 1 episode. Maybe a series.

Better yet. You can host a show (in all that spare time you have) called 'Lit and Laundry' where you talk about the history of all of these cool things in people's homes (starting with your own). And at the end, you can share some verses from a fabulous piece of literature. Umm...I'm copyrighting the idea....

Roslyn Atwood said...

Interesting clothes hanger history. Reminds me I have an old wooden German hanger that has advertising on it!
Roslyn

JamaGenie said...

Oh my... I haven't seen a wooden hanger imprinted with the cleaners' information since I was a little girl! They were a form of "free" advertising, and reserved for heavier items like winter coats and such. For shirts and dresses and such, your clothes came back on a regular wire hanger with a paper "sleeve" that had the cleaners' logo and such on it.

As for the 4-digit phone number, those were a bit before my time, but dial phones weren't in general use either in our little town. We had to tell the operator "Dickens" and then a 3-digit number. Wasn't long after that we got dial phones and 7-digit numbers, and gawdforbid people you called a lot had been given a number with nines and zeros!

Mary said...

I have some hangers like that. You made a good memory. I just discovered your blog and am having a grand time reading it. I grew up in rural Ilinois on a farm outside a town of 200. My phone number was Rock Grove 511 until maybe 1968. There were times that I wanted to call home from the college I attended but when I gave the operator the number they just zoned out. But it had its perks. The switchboard was run by a wonderful blind couple who wove rugs, made brooms, gardened, made furniture and did their own billing. Where else can you call the operator for homework help.
Hope you are healing quickly

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