Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Clothespin in Tagalog? History, Types, and Earlier Designs

A clothespin in Tagalog is called “sipit ng damit,” where sipit means “clip” and damit means “clothes.” Also called clothes pegs, clothespins are small laundry fastening devices that hold clothes hanging on a clothesline. Interestingly, this tiny invention has other notable uses such as holding nails while hammering them and as clothespin dolls.

clothespin in Tagalog
Different designs of clothespins

Before clothespins were invented, washerwomen used to hang clothes hoping that they wouldn’t be blown by the wind. The first recorded patent for clothespins was awarded to Jeremie Victor Opdebec in 1809. His clothespin design is a one-piece wood with two prongs but without any mechanism. Hence, it was not as efficient as one would expect. 

In 1832, Samuel Pryor became the first American to receive a patent for a clothespin. However, the U.S. patent office caught a fire and his model got burned. By 1887, 146 clothespin designs in the US received a patent. One of them is for David M. Smith of Springfield, Vermont. His clothespin includes a spring clamp so the legs can be moved toward each other. 

In 1887, Smith’s design was improved by another Vermont inventor, Solon E. Moore. His patented design includes a coiled fulcrum of wire that would hold the parts together. This would reduce the production of clothespins, which led to its mass production by the United States Clothespin Company (U.S.C. Co.) and were sold across the country. 

In 1909, Allan Moore redesigned the spring fulcrum of the clothespin and established the National Clothespin Company. And because these clothespins were cheaper, the company became the leader in the clothespin industry by 1918. The U.S.C. Co eventually closed in 1940, while the National Clothespin Company closed its doors in 2009. 

Stainless steel clothespins were also introduced but used a compression spring instead of a torsion spring, which resulted in a stronger grip. In the Philippines, cheaper plastic clothespins with different vibrant colors are the most popular ones today. They are usually sold by the dozen, which is much cheaper than buying them per piece.

Use sipit ng damit in a sentence.


Pag tapos ka ng maglaba, dapat gumamit ka ng sipit ng damit pag magsasampay ka na.


After you wash the clothes, you should use clothespins when you hang them.

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