I was recently asked if I knew when the clothes dryers became popular. Not a question I had thought about much, the dryer tends to get overlooked. After doing a bit of research here is what I found out. Quite facinating!
From far back people have always wanted a better, faster way to dry clothes then using nature. In the 1700s a "ventilator" was invented, a drum with holes that was turned over a fire by hand. It was never really practicul as the clothes smelled like smoke and soot, and there was always the risk of catching fire.
In 1892 a patent was granted to George Sampson of Ohio for a ventilator type dryer that used the hot air from a stove. This method was not too efficient as the clothes were laid out on racks and only a small amount could be dried at a time.
Finally J. Ross Moore, a North Dakota farmer who was tired of hanging clothes out in the freezing winter weather, came up with the idea of a drum type dryer. After 30 years of perfecting it, Mr. Moore persuaded the Hamilton Manufacturing Company of Two Rivers, WI to manufacture his dryer. The "June Day" automatic clothes dryer was introduced in 1938. During WWII production had to be halted but started again in the late 40s. According to an article on the internet "In 1955, only 10 percent of U.S. households had dryers". But that soon changed! The automatic clothes dryer steadily gained popularity until now every household has one. Source: ehow-The History of the Dryer