Three Bundles of Early 20th Century Gypsy Pegs
Considering its usefulness and simplicity, the clothes peg was quite late to come into popular use. Possibly invented by fishermen to clip nets to rigging. The first patent for the clothes peg was only taken out in 1809. As population density increased in cities the need for economical drying space increased, and the time was ripe for the commercialisation of the clothes peg. The dolly peg, or gypsy peg, was of crude design and typically made from a single piece of wood, typically hazel or willow in England, often bound with a metal clip. Britain's early peg makers were usually gypsies or sometimes bodgers making use of cheap ends of coppice wood. In a modernising Britain, where gypsies were frequently moved on, their economy relied heaviliy on roadside trade of small whittled items, white heather and gypsy pegs.
These rudimentary pegs changed little in design through the Victorian era and into the following century. These pegs were made around 1920, but are typical of those made in Victorian times. They are bound with tin.
Dimensions: average length is 14cm