Pitch Perfect: Apparel

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:

Wembley Ties adAlways 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).

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