Yesterday, while doing a round of thrift store shopping, I found a bag of vintage 1960s Penley’s old-style wood peg clothespins. I was rummaging through a messy basket of sewing patterns and yarn, and found them at the bottom of the pile. Manufactured by the Penley Brothers in West Paris, Maine, USA. Still sealed in the unopened package, it bore an old Penney’s price tag sticker. Originally 50 cents, it was marked down to 25 cents. I paid $1.99 at the thrift store, however. 🙂
This was a cool find for me, an avid vintage-lover and clothesline/clothespin user. You see, they just don’t make ’em like they used to. Penley Corporation, which was founded in 1923, closed its doors in 2002 and laid off its manufacturing employees. Penley still imports and distributes clothespins, but they are now made overseas. In fact, most clothespins are now made overseas and are mostly cheap plastic or flimsy wood. I can’t tell you how many clothespins that I’ve broken and had to throw away. The newer ones are mainly used for craft projects and not for its original intent. In fact, many people have never seen a clothespin in actual (laundry) use, and have no idea what it’s made for!
I’ve never used the the peg style clothespin, but it is really interesting to me. Made of a single piece of bifurcated wood, there is no spring clamp. A common gripe of mine is the falling-apart of the two-piece clothespin. The peg style seems especially sturdy.
Now that the days are getting a bit warmer, soon I’ll be able to shift my line-drying outdoors. My clothesline will be put to good use once again. And you can be sure I will be using these authentic Maine Woods peg clothespins!
~ “There is nothing like the smell and feel of crisp linens right off the line.” ~ musician Shelby Lynne
As I was hanging my clothes out today I saw that many clothespins were discolored and OLD. So I came to computor to see if Penley still made clothespins and where I could get some. Sad to hear they are no longer in business but young people don’t even know what it is “to hang out their wash”. Nothing like sheets dried in the air. I sympathize with those living in cities as the opportunity to hang laundy out is usually not an option. Guess I’ll have to look elsewhere for clothespins.
You might look on eBay for vintage Penley clothespins, or in thrift stores. I still use these vintage Penley clothespins for hanging out on the line. They work REALLY well!