Historic Folk Toys: Craft, 'Clothespin Doll Kit'
Our Clothespin Doll Kit makes two dolls, a boy and a girl doll. Included in the kit are two wooden clothespins, fabric, lace, ribbon, pipe cleaners, pearl cotton for the hair, pattern, instructions, and history. These cute dolls will look adorable displayed with other old-fashioned dolls. The clothespins we provide have flat bottoms so the dolls will stand by themselves.
Historical 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, including clothespins.
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.
PACKAGE DIMENSIONS - 5.5 x 7 x 0.5"