George T. Sampson did not invent the clothes dryer, but improved it so much so that it has been recognized as the real starting point of the modern day clothes dryer. His innovation was in designing the dryer as a frame that could be placed over a stove and easily removed when not in use. Earlier dryers that also used heat to dry clothes were called ventilators. However, these were large metal drums that had to be placed over a fire and constantly rotated. Sampson’s design did not require manual rotation or an open flame. His automatic clothes dryer was patented in 1892.