Continued from product description on
Historical Doll Kits' Page One...
Background: The clothespin began as a one-piece wooden
clothes peg made by hand. One of the traditional occupations
of American gypsies, who first appeared in the 16th century,
was the clothes peg maker. Gypsies from Scotland were also clothes
peg makers. In 1820, wooden clothes pegs were manufactured by
Lyon and Company. Their package of 48 clothes pegs sold for 17
cents. That's about like getting three clothes pegs for a penny.
Other companies began manufacturing wooden clothes pegs and,
between 1852 and 1887, the U.S. Patent Office granted patents
for 146 different clothespins. It's amazing to find that there
can be so many different designs for such a simple item as a
wooden clothespin. In 1908 and, again in 1926, the U.S. Patent
Office transferred thousands of patent models to the Smithsonian,
As early as 1857, Ezra B. Eddy began manufacturing wooden
clothes pegs at Table Rock in Canada. George and John Lewis started
a clothespin factory in Maine in 1895 in an area they named Lewiston,
which was rich in yellow and white birch. After the clothespins
were manufactured, they were packed in boxes made from softwood
sawn at the mill. In 1921 and 1922, the peg factory was dismantled
and shipped to East River, Sheet Harbour, by horse and wagons.
They had depleted the forests of the yellow and white birch and
the destination for a new factory was Stewiacke. The machinery
from the factory was stored in the warehouse but then the two
brothers dissolved their partnership so John built the peg factory
at Ship Harbour. Later, the peg clothespins changed in favor
of the spring type. Another manufacturer located in Maine, the
Penley Corporation, was started in 1923 and made clothespins
until December 2002. Most of the one-piece wooden clothespins,
which are really clothes pegs, are now packaged as "doll
pins" and are made in China.
Clothespin dolls (or clothes peg dolls) have been around as
long as there have been clothes pegs. Even some old penny wooden
dolls have arm and leg joints made from clothes pegs. Clothespin
dolls can be found costumed in many various occupations -- from
farmers and astronauts to pilgrims and Victorian ladies. A kit
is a great way to begin a clothespin doll collection because
you have all the materials and instructions at your fingertips.