Claims that Thomas Jefferson invented the clothes hanger are unfounded, although he did have a "convenient contrivance" for hanging clothes in his closet at Monticello. We no longer have such a contrivance at Monticello, but descriptions remain from Jefferson's contemporaries. His grandson-in-law called it a "turning-machine." Another guest reported: "In a recess at the foot of the bed was a horse with forty-eight projecting hands on which hung his coats and waistcoats and which he could turn round with a long stick; a knick-knack that Jefferson was fond of showing with many other little mechanical inventions." Based on these descriptions, the conjectural drawing at right shows what we believe this device would have looked like.
- ↑ Davis, Richard Beale, ed., Jeffersonian America: Notes on the United States of American Collected in the Years 1805-6-7 and 11-12 by Sir Augustus John Foster, Bart. (San Marino, CA: Huntington Library, 1954), 144.