American-made Classic Clothespins: A Review And A Call to Action

December 4, 2013

Frugality, Tool Reviews

Herrick Kimball's "Classic American Clothespins"

Herrick Kimball’s “Classic American Clothespins”

I like to air-dry clothes. (I promise I’m not a hippie. I only made tie-dyes once. I mean twice. I mean, like eight times… but I’m over it now. Really and truly. And I don’t listen to THAT much Bob Marley.)

Okay, after that awkward start, here’s the meat: most of the tools we have today are junk. The problem: good tools are expensive. I carry a few at my nursery – and those that buy them love them – but they make me very little income, since most people are accustomed to paying low prices for sub-par goods.

That reaches even into the world of the humble clothespin. Over on my site, I posted a lengthy (and snark-riddled) review of Herrick Kimball’s (the Whizbang Chicken Plucker guy) foray into the realm of clothespin manufacturing:

“When I was a kid, Mom would hang out the laundry on sunny days. Our backyard had a tangerine tree, a royal poinciana and a grapefruit tree where Dad had built a tree fort for my brother and I. The clothesline was right next to it, and we often played in the sand or in our fort, whittling spears, digging little rivers and filling them with the hose, or even throwing little unripe grapefruit at each other. Really hard.

On laundry day Mom would join us in the backyard for as long as her basket of wet laundry lasted. We’d always wheedle her to stay out longer, but being the diligent woman she is, she wouldn’t stick around for long.

All that to say, I don’t have a clothesline in the backyard because I’m trying to save lots of money or the planet or anything else. I have it because I like to see long lines of bright clothing hanging out to dry, and because there’s a sweet simplicity to the thing. It’s good and wholesome, and reminds me of being a kid. Unfortunately, like most everything else, the slave-manufactured goods of China have crept into this traditional household chore. If you try to get a decent clothespin, you’ll fail. We’ve gone through plenty of lousy pins.

That said, when I saw Herrick Kimball was going to reinvent the clothespin and bring it back to being made in the USA, I was amused. Dollar Store clothespins are garbage, sure – but they’re CHEAP garbage! I figured there’s no way Herrick would turn a profit and that Planet Whizbang had finally jumped the shark (click here to keep reading)

Sometimes it makes sense to get something that’s made really well. And sometimes you just get the thing that’s made really well because you want to support people that are still creating good stuff here in the USA, not because it makes a lot of economic sense. I like using good things, though – even something as humble as a clothespin.

Do you know someone that’s making a great tool we should know about? Something that would be really handy around the homestead? Chet, Dave and I are not stingy about linking to other preppers who are doing good things, so let us know in the comments and we’ll check it out.

About David The Good

David The Good is a naturalist, author and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a Dixie cup of soil and caught the gardening bug. Soon after, his dad built an 8’ by 8’ plot for him and David hasn’t stopped growing since. David is the author of four books, writes a regular column for The Ag Mag in North Central Florida, is a Mother Earth News blogger and has also written for outlets including Backwoods Home, Survival Blog and Self-Reliance Magazine. You can find his books on Amazon here. David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker and an unrepentant economics junkie who now lives somewhere near the equator on a productive cocoa farm. Visit his daily gardening and survival blog here: The Survival Gardener And for lots more gardening info, click here and subscribe to his often hilarious YouTube channel.

View all posts by David The Good

6 Responses to “American-made Classic Clothespins: A Review And A Call to Action”

  1. kevin jones Says:

    Hi,

    If you are interested, I am a clothespin manufacture in the Pacific Northwest. My product is also 100% made in america. You are correct it is not cheap to make quality clothespins, however I have my clients buy clothespins only once, a lifetime guarantee is always valuable. Thanks for your time, Kevin’s Quality Clothespins.

    Reply

  2. Samuel Says:

    Why is it so hard to get a mailing address: yours that is?

    Reply

  3. Albert Crooks Says:

    My son and I also produce quality 100% American clothespins out of our woodshop. I agree that the common dollar store clothespins just don’t cut it. I’m not even sure what species of wood they are made out of. Quality clothespins are worth the extra cost. http://www.allamericanclothespins.com

    Reply

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