The shoulder-enforcing wire coat hanger that we use today was originally invented by O.A. North in 1869, as an offshoot of a coat hook. Through the years, with improvements such as cardboard tubes to reduce wrinkling and wooden, plastic and even (my personal favorite) velvet-flocked versions, the clothes hanger that started out as a simple, twisted piece of wire has blossomed into a piece of household design that we couldn't live without.
In the book Humble Masterpieces, Paolo Antonelli explores simple inventions and our dependence on them — ironically, excluding the clothing hanger!
Flipping through the pages, reading the histories of products like the zipper and the thumb tack, got me thinking: which simple household helper could I not live without? After a bit of thought, I decoded my most treasured invention is most likely the paper towel: armed with one and a bit of glass cleaner (spray bottle included), I am a force to be reckoned with. My cleaning obsession aside, what about you? Which simple household tool could you not live without?