Snellenburg Clothing Co.: Company History (United States, 1869-1962)

Figure 1.--This Right-Posture ad for Shelenberg's appeared in the 'Saturday Evening Post' (October 16, 1920). The 'Post' was the most popular mass-media magazine at the time. This and the choice of F.X. Leyendecker as an illustrator gave them enormous exposure. As can be seen, knickers and long stockings at the time were standard wear for American boys. Note the Norfolk suit. The mahor variation here was the footwear. High-top lace-up shoes were still standard, but the boy kneeling down wears low-cut dress pumps and the girl white strap shoes.

The company was N. Snellenburg & Company, but most pople referred to it as Snellenburg's. It was founded during the era that the great American department stores were founded durung the post-Civil War era. Snellenburg's was founded in 1869. It became a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania fixture. It nice in the retail firmament was as a store for price concius middle class cutomers. It was more than a retail department store, but also was a wholesale clothing manufacturer. And it marketed its clothing in cities without its department stores. One source claims that Snellenburg's became the largest clothing manufacturer in the world. We are not sure this is true. But it certainly was an important company. Right-Posture was Snellenburg's brand of boys' clothing. The manufacturing operation was located in Wisconsin manufacturer. We note in the 1920s that Right-Posture offed a full range of clothing, including boys' and girls' clothes. They apparetly advertised in major magazines with destinctive ads illustrated by F.X. Leyendecker--best know for his Arrow Shirt ads. At its peak, Snellenburg's had a work force of 3,000 people. The company sold directly from its manufacturing operations to the the retail customer. This cut out the middleman which permited the comaony to sell out attractivde prices. Snellenburg adopted the slogan, "The Thrifty Store for Thrifty People." Bankers Securities Corporation, owned by Albert M. Greenfield, purchased the company (1952). The Snellenburg family continued operating the stores for another decade. The comaopny closed (1962). Its suburban locations were taken over by Lit Brothers.


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Created: 6:36 PM 12/26/2013
Last updated: 6:36 PM 12/26/2013