For a long time, the sun took over drying clothes – even today, in many countries, laundry is hung on clotheslines or laid over bushes and shrubs to dry.
Although the first hand-operated clothes dryer was invented as early as the 1800s, it was not until the development of electric dryers in the 20th century that the appliance became of interest to households.
In 1940, the industrial designer Brooks Stevens designed a tumble dryer with a viewing window, and the first household appliance was launched in Europe in 1958. In Germany, too, it would be decades before the tumble dryer became commonplace in private households.
Incidentally, like the washing machine, the dryer has still not caught on in private households in Germany: in 2017, 42.2% of households in Germany were equipped with a dryer.
To date, the principle by which dryers work has hardly changed. Only design and additional functions have been revised and expanded again and again.