Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Milestones In Haberdashery

The Setwell Hanger

   In the history of mankind clothing was, from its earliest eras, a distinguishing hallmark that separated man from the lesser beasts. Traditionally, pants were the one iconic piece of clothing that signified masculinity. This state of affairs has changed somewhat in recent years, but one need not look any further than the universal sign for "The Men's Room" to see how that imagery still persists. One problem remained, however. In order to maintain a man's trousers in a state of tidy readiness various remedies were tried and all were found wanting.

   Enter the Setwell pants hanger: Patented on April 24th, 1934 by F.K. Deknatel, The Setwell is a must-have for men of style and fashion. True, there have been numerous knock-offs of this classic, but one only has to compare them to the original to see how superior it still remains.


   The keen-eyed observer will no doubt notice the suit-grade flannel (#11) or the precision roller bearing (#20), or the piece de resistance: the tempered spring (#22) which opens the hanger automatically, with minimal effort, yet holds the jaws tight when closed.

   Fashions may come and go, empires may rise and then fall, even the mightiest of mountains will someday return to the sea, but a well-hung pair of trousers will remain the standard by which mankind is judged.

By Professor Batty



18 Comments:

Blogger Móðir, kona, meyja said...

Reminds me of a lady saying to Mr Fawlty (of Fawlty Towers), about her son:

'He's a little highly strung.'

And Mr Fawlty muttering under his breath, 'Yes, he should be.'

Every bit a classic as this lovely hanger (I want).


Blogger Professor Batty said...

... the fulfillment of your every desire is, as always, my pleasure...


Blogger Val said...

I found your site while looking for info about a hanger that I must have inherited from my grandmother! A wonderful little item. Mine looks exactly like yours. Do you know what years this style might be from?

Val


Blogger Professor Batty said...

Hi Val! Thanks for stopping by. The one shown is from the thirties, there are newer models (higher patent #'s) but they aren't as smooth as the original. This post was tongue in cheek, but the Setwell is a really great hanger.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one that was my fathers it has patent # 5 on it and its numbers on it. It looks brand new the wood is smooth. Do you have any more info on this?


Blogger Professor Batty said...

Anon~ sorry, no more than what I've posted.


Anonymous StavinChain said...

Found the site while searching for info on a Setwell hanger I found among my aunt's effects. It consists of the Setwell pants hanger attached to the inside of(in other words, hanging down from) a contoured coat hanger. Looks to be '50s vintage; the highest patent number on it is 2269413.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

go to setwellhangers.com


Anonymous Anonymous said...

setwell hangers are still made by setco inc


Anonymous ThomasM said...

Thanks for full description of these hangers. I have a few old models of the Setwell No. 548. They never held the trousers well. I see that mine are missing the felt (#11 in the diagram and your description). The http://setwellhangers.com site lacks the information you provided. I also need to clean off the oxidation from the metal spring parts so they do not leave marks on the trousers. Cheers.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

I have some of the later styles as well, they don't work as well as the older one does.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from the pants hanger, Setwell seems to have made a line of very high quality suit and coat hangers. I have a Setwell coat hanger (no trouser bar) of unknown provenance that is a highly sculpted work of art with curves in every dimension. You absolutely can't find a wood hanger like that today at any price. The current Setwell line seems to be much lower grade judging from the website.


Blogger Professor Batty said...

Yes, they really don't make 'em like that anymore...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have found a Setwell Garment Hanger in my home recently, I have never seen anything like it before so I have been researching some information on the make that I have. I have found a couple images online that have the same patent number as mine, the only difference is what is under the Setwell logo. The images I saw all have "warranted" under that logo, mine doesn't. It has " Trade Mark Registered U.S. Patent Registered". I am trying to find out how many models have been made like this to find out the age of mine. Can someone please help me figure this out?!?!?


Blogger Professor Batty said...

If you have a patent # look it up on Google > patents.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Setwell has a patent date of Oct 19, 1916.


Blogger Denise Wirtz said...

Found your blog while looking for history of the Setwell company. The original buildings still exist and my brother is working for the new owners who are converting some of the better kept buildings into living spaces. My great Uncle Wendal Worden was a manager in the late 1930's, into the 40's and 50's after serving in the army. I will be getting some more information from family members in the Honor Michigan area.


Blogger Frankfort Kid said...

Live in Frankfort and the plant use to be in Beulah. Received hanger for a graduation present in1965 and still use them daily! Would also like more history? Someone told me they had a plant in Ludington?