Human shoulders designed to facilitate the hanging of a coat, jacket, sweater, shirt, blouse or dress in a manner that prevents wrinkles, are the prototype of modern hangers.Victorian Women were very familiar with adjustable hangers often using spring systems to hold the waistbands and allow the skirts to retain pleats and folds. These hangers often took the shape of flying birds and are referred to as eagle wing hangers.
Some historians believe President Thomas Jefferson invented a forerunner of the wooden clothes hanger. However, today’s most-used hanger, the shoulder-shaped wire hanger, was inspired by a coat hook that was invented in 1869 by O. A. North of New Britain, Connecticut. Christopher Cann in 1876 as an engineering student at Boston University has also been credited with the invention. The invention was patented a few years later: one morning in 1903,
J. Parkhouse arrived as usual at his workplace, the Timberlake Wire and Novelty Company in Jackson, Michigan, which specialized in making lampshade frames and other wire items. When he went to hang his hat and coat on the hooks provided for the workers, Parkhouse found all were in use. Annoyed and inspired, Parkhouse picked up a piece of wire, bent it into two large oblong hoops opposite each other, and twisted both ends at the centre into a hook. Then he hung up his coat and went to work
The company made a fortune; the inventor never got a penny