As many of you pointed out, in 1903 Albert J. Parkhouse invented the wire coat hanger, possibly one of the most versatile tools ever invented. However, this was pre-dated by Jefferson's invention of the wooden coat hanger, an occassion expertly described below by fellow reader Banyon44...
It was several years ago when a lecherous Thomas Jefferson found himself in bit of a spot. It turns out several people were coming over to Monticello on a cold winter night and there was no way that he could keep track of all the coats they'd be wearing. What would he do?
Well, being handy with a saw and such he raced to his carpentry shop with and grabbed some wood. Racing upstairs from the basement he re-entered into his parlor and commenced to working. Soon a lovely shelf stood at approximately 4 feet high and had been secured into the main wall of the house separating the parlor into two distinct sections.
"AHA!" shouted Tom and eight of his most trusted servants came racing in. "Look! I have invented the coat check room!"
"Well, that's all fine and dandy said his lady friend Sally, but just where do you plan to put the coats?"
Jefferson was angry, and rightly so, since he was President of some United corporation and backtalk was frowned upon; but there was to be no shilly-shallying, nor dilly-dallying and he climbed to the back of one of the divans (he always liked fancy words) and lifted the drapes complete with their holding rod, off their holding pegs and disappeared again to the basement workshop. When he returned he held in his hands 8 of the most magnificent pieces of freshly sanded wood any had ever seen in the entire state of Virginia (or Connecticut for that matter). Sally stared in awe at the workmanship.
"I must say that is fine carving you have done sir."
Jefferson smiled and nodded for he knew he would soon be famous for more than just that silly old paper about Independence. Yes, now he had done something truly noble and invented a coat hanger.
WHO GOT IT RIGHT: Pete Daggett, Bob Milligan, Luz Velasco, JP Weigt, Joe Wilson, Kathi Reynolds, Rick Gough, Marc Quinlivan, Alain Hachey, Robbie Moore, Marika Thiessen, Marty Paul, and Banyon44.