I recently bought a box of antique wooden clothes pins. They made me think about an earlier time when people hungtheir laundry out to dry. These wooden pins are a bit more difficult to use because you had to bunch up the fabric to give the pin enough to grab and hold onto to…otherwise the wash all fell to the ground. There was a skill and method to using these in order to get the job done.
When I counted them and took a closer look at the whole box full, I thought about the generations of women and men who learned how to do laundry with this as thier only tool. They washed the item by hand, wrung it out by hand, then hung it on the line to dry. A clothes pin was the tool that finalized the deal and made the washing work. Mothers taught their daughters who would help with the chores. Mothers taught sons going off to war. Maids and house keepers, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters…neighbors and friends. At one time this was on the best tool for the job.
A clothes pin has been replaced by technology…dry cleaning, electric dryers and the pants press. We have made the need for this tool obsolete. I’m sure in some countries they are still made and used; countries where technology has not caught up with the population and where electricity is not widely available. In my world, clothes pins are an antique.
What was once a necessity is now an antique. What was once a household item is now a relic of the past that some current generations have never seen. I am not sure what I am going to do with this box of clothes pins, yet the ideas are endless. I will need to think about this one a bit more before I start creating something.
I am grateful for the people who invented the clothes pin, and even more grateful for the people who invented the electric dryer. The dryer could not have been created without the clothes pin. One had to precede the other. Today I want you to think about all the work that goes into you doing your laundry without a clothes pin…then imagine how much MORE work it would be with a clothes pin. You may not have seen one in a while, yet this wooden pin changed people’s lives, inspired people to greater invention, and made your world better simply by being replaced.