The New York Times once mused that the "Silicon Valley of the Clothespin" may well be Vermont, and more specifically, Montpelier. 

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 According to the Times, "The first design that resembles the modern clothespin was patented in 1853 by David M. Smith, a prolific Vermont inventor. Smith also invented a combination lock, a "lathe dog" (a machine part for shaping metal), and a lifting spring for matchboxes. His "spring-clamp for clothes-lines" offered an elegant model of "two levers" hinged so that "the two longer legs may be moved toward each other and at the same time move the shorter ones apart." 

The National Clothespin Factory opened in Montpelier in 1887, moving in 1918 into its landmark headquarters along Stonecutters Way near the Hunger Mountain Coop. It lasted longer than any other clothespin factory in the United States, all of which are now gone.

 Its competitor, the U.S. Clothespin Factory, was located on the river where Shaw's Supermarket now resides and distinguished by the "world's largest working clothespin" mounted on the factory's roof.  

The clothespin manufacturing industry was done in by the electric dryer and foreign companies who could produce them cheaper. Now Montpelier is looking to commemorate the clothespin era with a 2020 sculpture created by the artists at Flywheel Industrial Arts in the capital city, depicting three great clothespins fashioned together in various poses. 

The city wants to purchase the sculpture and put it on public display on a vacant lot on Main Street and is looking for donations to complete the process.  

More information is available at