Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.


Over the years clothes pegs have changed. The early ‘Dolly Pegs’ made from one piece of wood were replaced with two pieces of wood joined together with a spring. When these were first produced it was considered to be a wonderful invention by the housewife and laundry maid. The wood used was good quality beech that had been well-seasoned, was hard and firm and didn’t split or break easily. Sadly, it appears that most wooden clothes pegs today are made from soft wood with weak, soft, thin springs.

In the Eighteenth Century and for most of the Nineteenth Century washing would be thrown over bushes to dry but when the ‘Dolly Peg’ and variations of these became available then the washing line was used not only in preference but also with much enthusiasm.

Dolly Pegs should always be soaked in cold water over night and allowed to dry naturally in the sunlight to not only lighten them but to also strengthen them. It is wise to add a drop or two of bleach to take out the natural dye that lingers on the fresh wood so that washing will not be marked by the pegs. My Grandma and Mother reminded me quite often to remember to soak my pegs over night … I have never forgotten their advice.

Dolly Pegs Dolly Pegs

Late 1950's early 1960's Clothes PegsLate 1950’s early 1960’s Clothes Pegs

1960-1970's Clothes Pegs 1960’s – 1970’s Clothes Pegs

Large Russian Storm Clothes Pegs - one normal clothes peg for size reference Large Russian Storm Clothes Pegs – one 1990’s normal size Clothes Peg at the top for size reference

I think out of all of the clothes pegs that I have had then those that were available in the 1960’s and 1970’s were the most reliable for holding washing firmly on the line in all weather conditions.


Ann said...

and now they even have those plastic ones. I had a whole bucket full of the good old fashioned ones but I've not used them in years.

VanillaSeven said...

You have a very good collection of wooden peg :)
Nowadays all use cheap plastic material.

BK said...

My mother is still using those wooden pegs but something I notice about the wooden pegs nowadays is that they are not as durable as the ones before.

Kloggers/Polly said...

Oh Ann - the plastic ones may be of use for hanging out one or two items but when there are line-fulls then they are just like toys compared to the wooden ones. I have tried various plastic versions - most are wide grasps so that they are impossible to hold in the hand (I hold up to twenty wooden ones as I'm whizzing along the washing line hanging up socks, pants,(I think you refer to them always as knickers whereas we use either term here in Britain), shirts, vests, teatowels, dishcloths, dusters, etc ... you get the picture. Then when it comes down to hanging sheets on the line - I've tried using plastic pegs for those but have had them end up in the mud so many times ... the lesson has been learnt.

I do however like the little fat dumpy pegs with rubber middles - I never use those for hanging out the washing however - but I do use them for fastening cereal packets, flour, pasta, dried fruit, nuts, biscuits, etc ... they keep everything very fresh!

Alterity Button Jewelry said...

I hate how the spring slips out when you are trying to clip your laundry to the line...aggrevating! I like the old fashioned ones best!

Paul said...

Wow, this is the first time I have ever seen them called "pegs", I have always know them as "clothes pins".

Jane said...

These are pretty. Most of what we have over here are plastic and the wooden ones are of the cheap kind.

botbot said...

Missed the dolly pegs. My mom used to make dragonflies from them. It's kinda hard to find quality wooden clothespins here nowadays. I bought a bunch when some turned up at a local store.

StaceyM said...

Thank you for this random ramble. I'm writing a book and I needed to find out if clothes pegs had wire springs in the 1960s...your site saved me a lot of bother!