Last Friday, I looked at the history of washers and today, I'll look at the history of dryers because the typical consumer buys a matched set. I have one of those stackable sets that fits in a corner in the hallway next to the bathroom.
The original dryer was nature. People hung clothing out in the sun by draping them on bushes and later using some sort of clothes line.
Then someone got the bright idea of using the heat from a fire to dry clothing in a barrel filled with holes but the first commercially patented dryer didn't appear until 1892. It consisted of a rack that used the heat from a stove rather than an open fire so the clothing didn't smell of smoke and wasn't covered in soot.
An inventor in North Dakota got tired of hanging laundry outside in frigid winters so he turned his shed into a drying room by hanging clothing there with a stove but worked on creating an electric dryer. Eventually, he developed both an electric and a gas powered dryer but had to strike a deal with Hamilton Manufacturing Company to get it produced and marketed. The first automatic dryer named "June Day" hit the stores in 1938.
By the end of the 1940's, Hamilton and other manufacturers were selling over 60,000 dryers per year. In 1955, G.E. made a major change to its dryers so it dried clothing in half the time. But over the years other changes were made to improve the dryer.
The first one in 1946, manufacturers moved the controls to the front while adding a timer, a cool down cycle, temperature controls, and placed an exhaust to get rid of moist air. In 1958, they began using 30 inch drums with a negative pressure system that's still used today. One year later, a sensor was added to shut down the cycle when the clothing was dry. and soon after, the permanent press cycle was added. Although dryers have been around for a while, many people couldn't afford them due to the high cost but in the 1960's prices started dropping making them more affordable.
It wasn't until 1972, manufacturers added an electric starter to gas dryers. Two years later, they added micro controllers designed to time dry cycles. Then in 1983, the delayed start was added to dryers so people could run dryers when energy demand was down.
So now, we have dryers with lots of buttons to electronically control the drying cycle. I'm still of the hang it out when you can but use the simplest machine possible because I don't have the time to figure out everything. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.