History of the Sunshine Clothes Dryer - Outdoor Clothesline

As I am told the story of how the Sunshine Clothes Dryer came to be; Joseph Clay always shoveled the snow from underneath his wife’s outdoor clothesline each time it snowed. This of course was not a task he liked. After one unusually deep snow he decided that job could be made easier. Very soon after that snow storm he invented the Sunshine Clothes Dryer, the first umbrella style rotating clothesline. Joseph B. Clay was granted a US patent in December 14, 1915, number 1,163,639. Snow removal under the clothesline became a tolerable task for Joseph Clay.

These stories and pictures are courtesy of the Cedar Falls Historical Society, and from Roger Clay, Joseph's son.

1 comment

  • Having been born, raised and graduated from Parkersburg High School, was delighted to read about your clothesline in the current issue of Mother Earth. Always wonderful to what’s happening in my home town – still consider it my home!


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