Episode 063—Twisted 2

Coat Hangers In Closet - The Out Of My Mind Blog

Listen to Episode 063


While a lawyer and a businessman get the official credit (and all the royalties), the blame, if that’s what you want to call it, belongs to a journeyman metal fabricator named Albert J. Parkhouse. That’s the story Out Of My Mind podcast host Jay Douglas tells in Episode 63. On a cold winter’s day in 1904, Parkhouse invented the simple wire coat hanger. Our world has been tangled ever since.

Along with the coat hanger’s origins, Jay talks with Scott Franklin, professor of physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, to understand why what takes coat hangers mere seconds to do takes us minutes (or hours) to undo, and what are our chances of ever setting these frustrating contraptions straight.


Listen to Episode 063


Professor Scott Franklin

Courtesy of Scott Franklin

Scott Franklin is Professor of Physics in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Rochester Institute of Technology. His research focuses on experimental and computational investigations of granular materials that, because of their geometry and shape, become entangled and show a solid-like rigidity. These include long thin sticks, staples (U-shaped) and semi-circles of varying arc-lengths. He also directs RIT’s Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation, overseeing their education research and outreach initiatives.

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