Parkersburg, Iowa (PressExposure) March 12, 2013 -- Joseph Clay always shoveled the snow from underneath his wife's outdoor clothesline each time it snowed. This of course was not a task he liked. After one unusually deep snow fall, Joseph decided that the he would make his job easier and invented the Sunshine Clothesline the first umbrella style rotating clothesline. He no longer needed to shovel snow along the entire length of a standard clothesline. Snow removal under the Sunshine Clothesline became a tolerable task.*
The Sunshine Clothesline is an umbrella style outdoor clothesline manufactured and patented by Joseph B. Clay of Cedar Falls IA. Historical research found Clay's earliest sales to be in 1913. Joseph B. Clay applied for a U.S. patent on August 18, 1913 and was granted patent number 1,163,639 for his "CLOTHES-DRIER OR THE LIKE" on December 14, 1915.
Joseph's unique and robust clothesline was designed to hold several loads of heavy wet laundry while allowing easy access to all the laundry from a single location. The design was well received by the public and is still offered to homemakers today. G&G Industries is proud to carry on the ingenuity and independent manufacturing tradition of Joseph Clay and the Sunshine Clothesline. Copies of the patent records and original drawings are available on the Sunshine Clothesline website under the history heading.
The Sunshine Clothesline addressed Joseph's need to reduce his snow-shoveling burden and it allows homeowners to use renewable energy and save money while drying their clothes to this day. The average household dries over 400 loads of clothes a year. At median electric dryer power consumption and power cost, that's over $120 per year to run a home's clothes dryer. Using the Sunshine Clothesline will reduce your utility bill with renewable wind and solar energy.
*This story is courtesy of the Cedar Falls Historical Society, and from Roger Clay, Joseph's son.