Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Kitchen Overall & Shirt Company Notebook

Here's a notebook put out by The Kitchen Overall and Shirt Company in Brantford, Ontario, Canada. Kitchen was established 1911 by Charles E. Kitchen and Luther Whitaker. According to the link below, the company used the slogan "Wears Like a Pig's Nose." This is the same slogan that Finck's used. It's also interesting to read that employees were paid in cash up until 1960 when the started issuing checks after they were robbed. The company changed it's name to Kitchen-Peabody-Garments Limited in 1962, The name change reflected the fact that overalls were no longer a large part of their business. The company was bought by Great Western Garment (GWG) in 1965. For more information on Kitchen and GWG click the link below.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Vintage Railroad Work Crew Snapshot

Great vintage snapshot of an unidentified railroad work crew. The seller suggested that the two better dressed gents in back row on the left might be some type of railroad police/detectives.

Friday, October 26, 2012

1937 Oshkosh Overall Company Advertising Invoice Envelope

Advertising invoice envelope from the Oshkosh Overall Company in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The cover is dated January 28, 1937. This was a key year for Oshkosh Overalls. This was when the company  OshKosh B'Gosh Incorporated. The cover also has advertising for the daily radio show which was hosted by the famous radio host, Johnny Olson (shown below). Olsen is probably best known as Bob Barker's side kick on The Price Is Right.

From the Wisconsin Historical Society

Thursday, October 25, 2012

1924 Freeland Overall Manufacturing Co., Invoice

Today is the final segment of Freeland Overall Manufacturing Company invoices until I find some different ones. This one is dated October 22, 1924 and has what is probably the company's most famous logo. Stay tuned for more interesting Freeland Overall ephemera in future posts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

1921 Freeland Overall Manufacturing Co. Invoice

Yesterday we took a look at a 1903 Freeland Overall Manufacturing Company invoice. For the most part the company was still young at that point. Today we have a April 12, 1921 invoice. The company had seen considerable growth by this time. Along with the Freeland, Pennsylvania factory, the company now had a Du Bois, Pennsylvania factory which it opened in 1906. The company now had it's familiar script logo with the tail of the d going through the O in Overalls.

From an old ebay listing by seller lmarzill 

From the History of Freeland, Pa. site at

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1903 Freeland Overall Manufacturing Co., Invoice

Over the next few days I'll be posting invoices from the Freeland Overall Manufacturing Company which show pretty big design changes over the years. Even though they were a small company out of Freeland, Pennsylvania, they always seemed to be one of the companies that experimented with different forms of marketing and design.

The first invoice we'll take a look at is dated February 11, 1903. When I first looked at this piece, the thing that jumped out at me was there was no address for the company. From all the information I've seen, it should have been at Foster and Cunnius Street. Later they moved to Ridge Street. The company originally started as the Blass Overall Company around 1896. After several different partners, The Oberrender brothers took over the company and formed the Freeland Overall Manufacturing Company.  It's also interesting to see that the company also advertised awnings, flags and aprons.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Circa 1907-1917 Velox Lumber Work Crew Real Photo Postcard

Circa 1907-1917 Velox real photo postcard featuring what appears to be some type of lumber business work crew. Lots of great workwear style shown on this piece. The guy with the apron, third in from the right, appears to be the crews cook.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Missouri Work Crew Cabinet Photo

Here's a nice little cabinet photo featuring a group of workers from Missouri. The piece is unidentified, but has a photographer's mark at the lower right from Hornbeck's Studio in La Plata, Missouri. I tried to figure out what the sign says over the worker on the top left, but couldn't make it out even when I rescanned the photo at a higher resolution. I'm not really sure what type of work crew this is. They're sitting on a flatbed rail car and some of the guys are wearing rubber gloves and boots.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

1913 "Tiger Brand" Work Shirts Advertising Envelope

In yesterday's post we took a look at a J.M Robinson, Norton & Company advertising envelope from 1910. Today we take a look at an advertising envelope featuring the company's "Tiger Brand" Shirts. I really like the line, "If you are a big fellow ask for the EXTRA STOUT." The front and back are both postmarked, but only the back is legible with a Louisville, Kentucky January 1, 1913 mark. The back flap is also different from the 1910 envelope. This reads, HOME OF THE "TIGER"... I'm assuming that the word BRAND is hidden by the stamp. It's interesting that both the 1910 and 1913 envelope say "Tiger Brand" yet they don't show the tiger head. I wonder if this had anything to do with the ongoing lawsuit between them and Royal Tailors?

Ad from The Texas Miner October 13, 1894

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

1910 "Tiger Brand" Overalls Advertising Envelope

Full front advertising envelope from J.M. Robinson, Norton and Company, Louisville, Kentucky. The cover is postmarked September 1, 1910 from Louisville on the front and September 2, 1910 on the back from an unknown location. J.M. Robinson, Norton & Co. were the manufacturers of "Tiger Brand" Overalls and Work Shirts. This advertising envelope talks about the "Barclay Flyer" and its durability against barbed wire, green briar and blackberry bushes. It also talks about how well their overalls look even after numerous washes because they're dyed with pure indigo dye.

J.M. Robinson, Norton & Co. are probably most well known for their court battle with Royal Tailors. In 1916, Royal Tailors was denied full title of their Tiger trademark because J.M. Robinson, Norton & Co. had shown prior use of the Tiger mark dating back to 1891. The original J.M. Robinson, Norton & Co. Tiger Brand mark was two tigers pulling a pair of trousers. This was later changed to a tiger head in 1903.

J.M. Robinson, Norton & Co. Trademark

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Circa 1870-82 Levy Brothers & Company Advertising Envelope

Great advertising envelope from Levy Brothers & Company, New York City. There's no date on the postmark, but the stamp used was issued between 1870-1882. I can't get a good look at it to determine the exact Scott number. I love the additional manufacturer's stamp for the Rough and Tumble Suit.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Neustadter Brothers Standard Flannel Shirts Poster Stamp

The Neustadter Brothers are well known for their Boss of the Road work clothes, but they were also the manufacturer of shirtings under the Standard name. This poster stamp advertises their flannel shirts.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Circa 1945-1950 Adam H. Bartel Linen Advertising Postcard

Linen postcard from Adam H. Bartel Company, Richmond, Indiana. The card features the Bartel main Building, Warehouse and Work Clothing Factory. On the reverse it has when customers will get a call for complete samples. The card was published by Adam H. Bartel and made by the E.C. Kropp Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I dated the card by piecing the linen postcard history with the dates on the card and the histroy of Kropp. Most linen postcards were produced from 1930 to 1945 with a few companies producing them in the early 1950s. The back of this card has dates of 1950 and 1953. Krupp was sold in 1956 to L.L. Cook. I would guess this card is from the late 1940s and was kept in use for several years.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cabinet Photo of Three Workers Smoking Pipes

Cabinet photo featuring three workers smoking pipes. All three have pocket watches attached to their overalls. The front of the card has a studio mark. It looks like Morri. I couldn't find anything on this studio. The back of the photo has a note. It looks like it says, "Three of Christans Noted Characters." It also identifies the characters as Bob K., Ed Brown and Bill Wade. I tried to make out any brand names on the buttons, but couldn't see anything.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Railroad Worker with Son Real Photo Postcard

As a designer and illustrator, I often wonder if my little boy will follow in my creative footsteps. I think about sitting and drawing or painting with him. Maybe he'll be like the new breed of designers and go right to the computer. I look at this real photo postcard and wonder if this railroad worker envisioned his little boy working on a train? The card is postally unused and there's no stamp box to estimate a date of issue. I would love to know more about this piece. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

1920 Marcus Loeb & Company "The Mechanic" Overalls Letter

Greta illustrated letterhead on this November 20, 1920 letter from Marcus Loeb & Company Inc., located in Atlanta, Georgia. I first wrote about this company in my January 13th post. For that entry click here

Thursday, October 4, 2012

1916-17 Sweet-Orr Pocket Memo with "Bull Dog" Work Shirts

Nice little 1916-17 pocket memo from Sweet-Orr. This book was issued by The Pioneer in Cincinnati, Ohio. This piece has advertising for their "Bull Dog" Work Shirts on the inside cover and Cords on the back. Sweet-Orr registered the "Bull-Dog" mark in 1908.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

1909 AZO Real Photo Postcard of Chas Cross Wearing Overalls

AZO real photo postcard showing Chas Cross wearing overalls. Judging by his dress, Mr. Cross appears to be some type of shop or store worker. The outline of his pocket watch is clearly visible. Other than the image, the best part of this card is that it has a location and date written on it. The card was sent from Wapato, Washington on August 17, 1909 to Miss Ona Waggoner in Marsha, O. This might have been a misspelling by Mr. Cross and it should have been Martha, Oklahoma. Census records show a Ona Waggoner there at that time period. I love the Mr. Cross wrote. "Hello, Good, By."     

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

1901 Barney Brothers Mascoma Overalls Invoice

September 14th, 1901 invoice from Barney Brothers in Canaan, New Hampshire. The company was form in the late 1800s by brothers Albert and Arthur Barney. They manufactured Mascoma Overalls, Coats, Pants and Shirts.

The two images below are from early 1900s New Hampshire Business Directories

The waistband tag and calling card are from old ebay listings. The calling card is interesting because it shows that the company had changed from Barney Brothers to Barney Brothers Company. From previous research on other companies, this most likely meant that they brought in another partner.

Monday, October 1, 2012

1891 Robert C. Wilkins Roosrer Brand Overalls Advertising Envelope

Great illustrated advertising envelope for Robert C. Wilkin's "Rooster Brand" shirts and overalls postmarked Montreal 1891. Unfortunately online information on this Montreal, Canada company is scarce. If anyone has more info on the company, I'd love to hear about them.

Advertising from the 1898 Klondike Guide 

"Rooster Brand" button on Etsy