Take Down That Clothesline Post-Haste
It was during the 1930's that J. Ross Moore invented both the electric and gas clothes driers and he patented both in 1936. Then in 1937, the Hamilton Manufacturing Company bought Moore's patents and started mass producing gas and electric driers. From 1938 and 1941, Hamilton Manufacturing sold 6,000 units at $230 per unit. That was a lot of money back when a brand new car only cost $800. Only 10 percent of the population could afford one. Most folk relied on clotheslines to dry their wash.
- The ubiquitous clothes drier.
- Clotheslines are Banned.
- Why the concern over clotheslines?
- Project Laundry List
The ubiquitous clothes drier.
Today it is becoming as difficult to find a home that does not have an automatic washing machine and clothes drier as it would have been to find a home that had them back in 1940. They are everywhere. They certainly have made woman's work easier but they consume a great deal of energy in the process. Clothes driers account for 15 percent of all domestic energy consumption. Many energy conscious people are reverting back to the old way of drying their clothes, by putting up a clothesline or two in their backyard. Or, at least, they would if they were allowed to.
Clotheslines are Banned.
While people are being encouraged to “Go Green” and conserve our natural resources, many communities are passing ordinances that forbid the residents of those communities from putting up clotheslines. According to an article, Debate Follows Bills to Remove Clotheslines Bans, in the October 10, 2009 issue of the New York Times, the majority of private communities in the U.S. ban clotheslines, the free, old-fashioned, and environmentally friendly alternative to using a dryer.
Why the concern over clotheslines?
It comes down to property values. The public display of laundry on a clothesline makes a home—and by extension, the surrounding residential development, neighborhood, and town—appear poor. At least that is the way those in power justify the ordinances they pass to keep people from putting up and using a backyard clothesline.
Project Laundry List
Project Laundry List is a nonprofit organization that is fighting to get these nonsensical laws repealed. Because of their political actions several states (Colorado, Hawaii, Maine and Vermont) have already stepped in and overruled local ordinances against clotheslines. More states are sure to follow but Project Laundry List needs your support now.
"What Year Was the Electric Clothes Dryer Invented?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. July 26, 2012 .