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Fashion, Menswear, Palm Beach Suit, Pair Antique Prints, c. 1920-1931

$1,500

Palm Beach Suits
[Pair of Posters]
American: c. 1920-1931
Paper on card, as issued, in wood frames
23 x 14 inches each, overall
$1,500, the pair

Rare pair of fashion placard posters advertising Palm Beach suits. Originally, in the early 20th Century, this was a brand of men’s warm weather suits so-called because they were made with Palm Beach cloth, a fabric manufactured by the Goodall Worsted Company. Printed on textured paper that imitates the look of oil paintings on canvas, each poster has an illustration of a smartly dressed young man in a tan suit accessorized with a tie and a handkerchief. One of the men also carries a cane and has a panama hat under one arm. The illustrations are set within simple blue and yellow Art Deco borders and overlapped by the reproductions of the company suit label with the slogan “This Label Identifies the Genuine.” Palm Beach cloth was so popular during that era that it had numerous imitators. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The Palm Beach suit became a summer classic, washable and comfortable to wear, the legendary suit became the staple of the well-dressed man’s summer wardrobe.” The posters were probably used in wall or window displays in tailor shops and clothing stores. The label in the poster corresponds to one used by the company between around 1920 and 1931.

Product description continues below.

Description

Goodall Worsted Company was founded in Sanford, Maine, in 1847. In 1908 they purchased a patent for a washable lightweight mohair-cotton blend fabric developed by William S. Nutter; three years later they began marketing it as Palm Beach cloth. By the mid 1920s, “Palm Beach suit” had become a common way to refer to any light colored suit, although 140 colors and patterns, including darker shades, were available. Until 1931, the fabric was sold to tailors and clothing manufacturers. That year, Goodall Worsted Company opened a second plant in Cincinnati, relocated its company headquarters there, and took over exclusive manufacturer of Palm Beach suits, opening its own stores to sell directly to the public. The company continued operation under Goodall-Sanford in the 1940s, and eventually was purchased by Burlington Mills. Palm Beach cloth was produced and advertised until 1956. The Palm Beach brand name, however, continued to be licensed to a succession of companies, most recently in 2011 by the HMX Group.

Condition: Generally very good with usual and expected overall light wear and toning.

References:

Dinerman. “The Fedora Lounge Guide to Palm Beach Cloth.” Fedora Lounge. 11 May 2013. https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/the-fedora-lounge-guide-to-palm-beach-cloth.72054/ (13 February 2019).

“Suit, 1935-40.” Metropolitan Museum of Art. https://metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/159547 (14 February 2019).