Film archivist Rick Prelinger once said, in a 2002 SF Weekly profile:
“I’m fascinated with the look of the past. I have an urgent need to form images of what a place looked like in the ’40s or ’50s. What did it smell like? What were people wearing? What [was] people’s body language? Was it noisy or quiet? Was the air smoky?”
To which we can only offer a hearty amen. We are constantly on the lookout for books, movies, and songs that give us a new angle on understanding life as it was once lived.
We recently bought a book from 1949 called American Slogans, and in this case, it turned out you can tell a book by its cover, because that’s just what this tome contains: a collection of thousands of slogans from companies in every area of commercial endeavor. No commentary, no analysis (other than a brief foreword) — just 318 pages of commercial slogans of the day (with up to 55 slogans per page).
Today, we’re sharing with the Cladrite Radio Clan a list of slogans that were used by clothing manufacturers back in the day:
Always good (Aetna Garment Co.).
Always ready, always dry (Alligator raincoats).
America’s finest fitting outercoats (Barron-Anderson Co.). Boston.
America’s first name in formal wear (Rudofker’s Sons).
America’s foremost fashion creator (Milgrim). New York.
America’s only known-priced clothes (Styleplus). Henry Sonneborn & Co.
America’s smartest buy (TruVal Shirts).
An investment in good appearance (Kuppenheimer clothes).
Anti-freeze underwear for men and boys, The (Hanes).
Aristocrat of shirtings, The (Sea Island Mills). New York.
Aristocrat of summer suits (Priestley’s Nor-East).
As western as the setting sun (Frontex shirts).
Balanced tailoring (Timely Clothes, Inc.) Rochester, N.Y.
Balanced tailoring makes Timely Clothes look better — longer.
Bath Towel you can wear (Toga Towel Co.). New York.
Bear for wear, A (Daniel Wagner & Sons, Inc.). Louisville, Ky.
Because, it’s sure to rain (Alligator raincoat).
Belcraft Shirts, your bosom friend (Belcraft Shirt Co.). New York.
Berkley Ties the world (Berkley Knitting Co.). Philadelphia.
Be Scotch, get your money’s worth (Sportswear). Doniger & Co., New York.
Best buy, wet or dry (Plymouth weatherproofs).
Best by TEST from coast to coast (Test overalls, work pants).
Best for fifty years (F.C. Taylor Fur Co.). St. Louis, Mo.
Bigger than weather (Patrick-Duluth Woolen Mills).
Big name in clothes, The (Styleplus Clothes). Henry Sonneborn Co.
Boy’s suit built for wear, The (J.J. Preis & Co.). New York.
Brilliant as the sun (Lustray Shirts). Lustberg-Nast Co., New York.
Buy overalls from the inside out (Crown & Headlight).
By this sign you shall know them (Currick, Leiken & Bandler).
Campus King, The (Lakeland Sportswear).
Change to Reis (underwear).
Clothes in the New York manner (Weber & Heilbroner).
Coats for every wear, everywhere, The (International Duplex Coat Co.).
Custom tailored throughout (Stratford Clothes). Cohn, Rissman and Co., Chicago.
Cut out for a long career (Washwear). Elder Mfg. Co.
Designed to be lived in (sweaters). Irwill Knitwear Corp., New York.
Distinctive in dress. (Printz-Biderman Co).
Does something for you (Style-Mart Suit). Merit Clothing Co., Mayfield, Ky.
Dollar for dollar, your best buy (Tru-Val Shirts).
Don’t forget that Koveralls Keep Kids Klean (Levi Strauss & Co.).
Don’t get wet, get Palmer (Palmer Asbestos & Rubber Corp.). Chicago.
Don’t get wrecked, get Palmer (Palmer Asbestos).
Don’t strain the rain (Whiz 3-way protection). R.M. Hollingshead Corp.
Do something for you (Style-Mart Clothes). Merit Clothing Co.
Do you wear pants? (Plymoth Rock Paints Co.).
Dry back or money back (outdoor clothes). Lewis M. Weed Co., New York.
Easiest name for a man to remember, The (shirts). Wilson Bros.
Easy on you as your skin (underwear). Du-Ons.
Even the collars and cuffs are clean (Coffield washer).
Every fur at every price (Samual Katz). New York.
Every mile of yarn gives an extra year of wear (Cooper Underwear Co.).
Every pair must please (gloves). Wimelbacher & Rice, New York.
Every style worth while (Louis Meyers & Son, Inc.). New York.
Every test proves its value (Knitted Padding Co.). Canton, Mass.
Every thread woven by hand (El Ricos neckties).
Exclusively yours (Berkeley Junior Fabrics).
Fashion in action (ranch togs). Wrangler.
Fashions for the Youthful (Mimi Dresses). John Wanamaker.
Faultless since 1881 — The nightwear of a nation (Faultless Nightwear Corp.).
Feel the fabric and you’ll feel the difference (Botany shirts).
Fifty per cent more wear (H.D. Lee Mercantile Co.). Kansas City, Mo.
Fine outercoat makers since 1901 (Barron-Anderson Co.). Boston.
Finest habit a man can have, The (Merchants Tailors Society). New York.
Finest human hands can achieve, The (Langrock Clothing Co.). New Haven, Conn.
First choice for aprons (Lawrence Leathers Co.). Peabody, Mass.
First in elastic supports (Bauer & Black).
First with the last word (Britannic wool hose).
Follow the ARROW and you follow the style (Cluett, Peabody Co.). Shirts.
For all ’round and comfort (men’s belts). Sears Roebuck.
For any child of any age (E-Z underwear).
For boys six to sixty (Springfoot sox).
For easy wear — everywhere (flanel). Washougal Woolen Mills, Washougal, Wash.
For every walk in life (socks). Monarch Knitting Co., Ltd., Canada.
For goodness sake wear Buckeye Shirts (Buckeye Shirt Co.). New York.
For leisure wear — everywhere (flannel). Washougal Woolen Mills.
For men who care what they wear (Pioneer Suspender Co.). Philadelphia.
For that good-looking feeling (Doris Miller Clothes).
For the nicest youngsters you know (Mason Clothes).
For the rest of the night (pajamas). Steiner & Sons, Asbury Park, N.J.
For the seat of your diaper troubles (Dennison diapers linen).
For young men and men who stay young (Society Brand Clothes). Alfred Decker.
For younger young men (Leopold, Solomon and Eisendrath).
Founders of the first nationwide tailoring service (M. Born & Co.). Chicago.
Friend-making work shirt, The (McCawley & Co., Inc.).
From fleece to fabric (United States Worsted Corp.). New York.
From mill to millions (Hamilton Carhartt). Overalls.
From raw cotton through finished product (Morgan cloths).
Fur goodness sake try Kruskal (furs). Kruskal and Kruskal, New York.
Furmost line, The (furs). Wells-Treister Co., New York.
Furs that reflect youth (Zimmerman-Scher Co.). New York.
Gift tie of a nation, The (Chicago Printed String Co.).
Give a look INSIDE to get value outside (and in). Crown & Headlight overalls.
Gloves that “go places” (Belle Glove Co.). Gloversville, N.Y.
Golden Rule garments (Carhartt shirts and overalls).
Greatest name in socks, The (Interwoven Stocking Co.). New Brunswick, N.J.
Help build personality (Stadium Clothes). Woodhull, Goodale & Bull, Inc.
Hi-chair to hi-school (Nazareth undies).
If it hasn’t this red woven label, it isn’t B.V.D. underwear.
If it’s Cowden, it fits (work clothing). Cowden Mfg. Co.
If it’s Fownes, that’s all you need to know about a glove.
If it’s Madewell, it well made (underwear). Taunton Knitting.
If you think clothes don’t make a difference, try walking down the street without any (Wolf Tailoring).
Impressively correct (Irish & Scottish Linen Damask Guild). New York.
In action and relax-ion (Weber & Heilbroner).
In the New York manner (Weber & Heilbroner).
It lox the sox (Pittsburgh Garter Co.).
It pays to dress well (clothing). Fred Gibberd, Ltd.
It pays to show the name they know (Kleinert’s rubber goods).
It’s a case of good garters (Sidley Co.). San Francisco.
It’s in the fit (Schwartz Bros. Dress Co.). Chicago.
It’s the collor that makes the shirt. (Grunwald-Marx).
Kind of clothes gentlemen wear, The (Kahn Tailoring Co.).
Kind real boys wear, The (Perfection Clothes). H.A. Seinsheimer Co.
Kind that lasts longest, The (Bull Dog Hose). Boston Woven House & Rubber Co.
Label mothers know and trust, The (child suits). Minneapolis Knitting Works.
Label of luxury (Callaway Mills). La Grange, Ga.
Label of quality knitting in sportswear and underwear (Hanes).
Labels of character (Atlas Co.)
Largest immediate delivery fur house (Samuel Katz). New York.
Learn about little women from us (Schwartz Bros. Dress Co.). Cleveland.
Leg of nations, before the court of the world, The (men’s garters). Sidley Co.
Let Munsingwear cover you with satisfaction (undewear).
Let Taylor do your tailoring (J.L. Taylor & Co.).
Let them grow up in Kaynee (The Kaynee Co.).
Let us tan your hide (fur). Crisby Frisian Fur Co., Rochester.
Light as a breeze, soft as a cloud (Rand dress shields).
Like old friends they wear well (gloves). Louis Meyers & Son.
Line of beauty, The (frocks). Mann, Guggenheimer Co., New York.
Look smarter, wear better (Shane Uniform Co.). Evansville, Ind.
Look to “Paris” to look your best (garters).
Love of a glove, A (Acme Glove Corp.). Gloversville, N.Y.
Luxury tropical with the cashmere-like feel, The (Goodall Sunfrost).
Made in America for little Americans (R. Solomon Knitting Mills). New York.
Made stronger to last longer (A. Stein & Co.). Chicago.
Made to stand the gaff (Nogar Clothing Mfg. Co.). Reading, Pa.
Magic word in junior sportswear (Petti).
Maiden California — Stretch everywhere (garters). Sidley Co.
Makers of America’s finest fitting outercoats (Barron-Anderson Co.). Boston.
Make the children happy (Yankiboy Play Clothes). Sackman Bros., New York.
Mark of modern pajamas, The (Dot snappers).
Masterpiece of craftsmanship (windbreaker).
Means better underwear (Amho). American Hosiery Co.
Meyers makes gloves for every father’s son and mother’s daughter.
Million dollar overall, The (Crown Overall Mfg. Co.). Cincinnati.
Miracle in the rain, A (Koroseal raincoat).
Mix ’em and match ’em (Buster Boy Suit Co.). New York.
Most admired, most desired for cool comfort (Marlboro shirts).
Musingwear — beyond compare (underwear).
“Must” for every wardrobe, A (Sportleigh’s briefer coat).
Name to remember in rainwear, The (Weatherbee). Triangle Raincoat Co.
National buyword, A (Georgiana frocks).
National summer suit, The (Goodall Worsted Co.).
National summer suit for men, The (Keep-Kool), Snellenburg Cloth Co.
Neatness lasts from breakfast to bedtime (Essley Shirt Co.). New York.
New air-rolled garter, The (Novelty Rubber Sales Co.). Akron, Ohio.
New pair free if they rip, A (Rip-proof overalls, playsuits, jumpers).
New York styles America (Monroe Clothes).
Next to nothing (jacket and shorts). Drybak Corp., Binghampton, N.Y.
Next to nothing at all (underwear). Du-ons.
NIGHTwear of a nation, The (Faultless Pajamas). E. Rosenfeld & Co.
No metal can touch you (Paris garters). A.G. Stein Co.
No other name in knit underwear has meant so much to so many for so long.
Oh, Kleinert’s? OK! (Kleinert’s rubber goods).
On and off in a jiffy (comfort belts for men). Little Corporal Mfg. Co.
One that won’t bind, The (E.Z. Garters). Thos. P. Taylor Co.
One white shirt that’s different, The (Van Heusen).
Oshkosh, b’gosh (overalls). Oshkosh Overall Co.
Outfitters of Sportsmen (Lou J. Eppinger). Detroit.
Pants that stand the gaff (L. Rosenblatt).
Peak value of the year (Dickinson Clothes, Inc.). Philadelphia.
Perfect brace that stays in place, The (suspenders). The Sidley Co.
Perfect raincoat that millions of mothers have been seeking (Esquire).
Perfect underwear for children, The (Minnesota Knitting Works).
Postman’s, the gloves Milady loves (Bacno Postman Co.). New York.
Protecting the nation’s hand-power (Work gloves). Boss Mfg. Co., Kewanee, Ill.
Protects you handsomely (Lakeland sportswear).
Protect your hands with MITTS (Mitts Mfg. Co.). Brooklyn, N.Y.
Pure northern wool from sheep that thrive in the snow (Men’s overcoats).
Quality costs no more (Frederick Nelson Dry Goods).
Quality without compromise (Paris garters).
Rage of the college age, The (Sidley Cords).
Rainy day pal, The (Reflex slicker). A.J. Tower Co., Boston.
Rest is easy, The (nightshirts and pajamas). E. Simons Mfg. Co., Port Chester.
‘Round the year coat, A (Alligator rainwear).
Rub ’em, tub ’em, scrub ’em, they come up smiling (Jack Tar Togs).
Rugged as the west (Outdoor Clothes). Black Mfg. Co., Seattle.
Secret of California casualness, The (Men’s sportswear). H. & L. Black.
Send Trend to a friend (aprons). Sid Levy & Sons, San Francisco.
Shirt house of America, The (F. Jacobson & Sons). New York.
Slip into a Bradley and out-of-doors (Bradley Knitting Co.). Delevan, Wisc.
Smart clothes that never smart your purse (Bonton Dress Shoppe). Boston.
Smartest cool suit, the coolest smart suit, The (Haspel seersucker).
Smart wear for the women who care (Bertha Taylor Dress Shop). Indianapolis.
Soft and silky as a kitten’s purr (Society Brand clothes).
Soft as kitten’s ears (Melbroke ties).
Soiled clothes that are not spoiled clothes (The Thoro Products Co.). Denver.
So-o soft, so-o smooth, so-o comfortable (Eclipse Sleep Products, Inc.).
Springs right back into shape (Penna. Knit Coat Co.). Philadelphia.
Standard in rubber goods for nearly half a century (Kleinert Rubber Co.).
Step thru, button two (The Sealpax Co.). Baltimore, Md. (underwear).
Stitched and styled in California (dresses). Alice of Calif., San Francisco.
Strong for wear (Jobbers Overall Co.).
Strong for work (Jobbers Overall Co.).
Styled for young fellows, worn by all fellows (Chas. Levy’s Sons). New York.
Style outside, leather inside (Boys’ jack-o-leather suits). J.J. Preis & Co.
Style without extravagance (Men’s clothes). Dreyfous & Lang.
Support of a nation, The (Paris garters).
Sweater is better if it’s Huddlespun, A (Herald Knitwear Co.). New York.
Tain’t gwine rain no mo’ (Pioneer Rubber Mills) [Note: I included this one only in the interest of completeness.]
Take your cue — Q-B-Q Gloves — Quality beyond question (Bacno-Postman Corp).
Tate-made is Rite-made (industrial uniforms). Tate Mfg. Co., Danville, Va.
Taylor-dressed man stands out from the crowd, The (Royal Tailors).
That well-dressed look (H. Black Co.).
There can be no compromise with quality (Langrock Clothing Co.). New Haven.
There is only one Jockey (underwear).
There’s a Lee for every job (work clothes).
There’s something about them you’ll like (Fleurette Frocks). Einhorn Bros.
There’s style and wear in every pair (Wear-Right gloves)
They fit royally (shirts). Phillips-Jones Co.
They hold their shape (Travelo knit jackets and vests). Peckham-Foreman, N.Y.
They must make good or we will (Oshkosh Overall Co.). Oshkosh, Wisc.
They’re cut to fit to fight fatigue (Reis underwear).
They won’t let you wear it unless it fits (Men’s clothing). Kolmer-Marcus.
Thorobred air in every pair, A (gloves). Grewen Fabric Co., Johnstown, N.Y.
Tie with the silver lining, The (neckties). May and Hill, New York.
Tops for your trousers (suspenders). A. Stein & Co.
To uphold your sox, trousers and dignity (Barrthea garters and suspenders).
Tropical suit that “breathes” fresh air (Northcool suits).
Trousseau house of America, The (Grand Maison de Blanc). New York.
Two-piece unionsuit, The (Henderson & Erwin). New York.
Two buttons on the shoulder, none done the front (Sealpax Co.). Baltimore.
Unaware of underwear (P.H. Haines Knitting Co.). Winston-Salem.
Uniformly good (Sainthill Levine uniforms).
Use celanese fabrics, they make your dresses smarter (Canadian Celanese).
Very coolly yours (Coronado clothes).
Wares that men wear (Stone Bros.). Brookline, Mass.
Washwear for real boys (Tom Sawyer). Elder Mfg. Co.
Wash without worry (Outdoor Lifer shirts).
Wears like a pig’s nose (Men’s overalls). W.M. Finck & Co., Detroit.
We put the world to sleep (Universal pajamas). Reliance Mfg. Co., Chicago.
We put the world to sleep (sleeping garments). Steiner & Son, New York.
What you want in work clothes (Big Yank).
When appearance counts (David Adler & Sons). Milwaukee.
When in Broderick suits your class is dressed, each girl’s inspired to play her best (Tom Broderick Co.). Glendale.
When the sun goes down (Berkeley Square Clothes). Philadelphia.
Where fashion reigns (B. Siegel Co.). Detroit.
Where style begins (Buddy Lee men’s suits).
Who’s your tailor (Ed V. Price Co., Chicago). Tailoring service.
Wide for comfort (garters). Thos. P. Taylor Co.
With the Permafit seam (sweaters). Jerry-Jane, Inc., Los Angeles.
Work clothes that fit and look like dress clothes (Kast-Iron).
Work clothing that conquers hard wear (Cowden Mfg. Co.).
World famous for quality (Wembley tie).
World smartest quality, The (Phillips-Jones Corp.). New York.
Wrinkleproofs your clothes (shadowskirt). A. Stein & Co., New York.
Year ’round corduroy, The (child corduroys). Togeroy’s.
You bet it’s good–it’s a Brentwood (sportswear). Philadelphia.
You can’t knock the crease out (Digby slacks).
Your legs will thank you (Brighton Wide-Web garters). Pioneer Suspenders Co.
Your shoulders will thank you (Pioneer Suspender Co.). Philadelphia.