Life Archive | Eagle Clothes

Anyone that has spent time in Brooklyn should know the beautiful old Eagle Clothes sign that sits atop a rectangular shaped building on 6th Street (Between 3rd & 4th Avenue) in Park Slope. I have rode my bicycle past it at least 100 times and never knew what the building and the sign were all about, except that the sign is wonderful to look at. Just recently my interest in the sign and the company collided with none other than the Life photo archive, bringing Eagle Clothes full circle.

In the summer of 1951 a Life photographer (with a leaky camera) peeked in on the Eagle factory running at full steam making suits for all those GIs that returned home and needed suits. It is interesting to see that the factory looks to be very similar to some factories that are still operating in New York. Rocco Ciccarelli in Queens is a good example of a similar set-up, only smaller and most likely better quality.

Eagle_Clothing_Brooklyn_05

At one point the building (above as pictured in July 1951; below more recently) was full of hundreds of people making clothes. Now the site is just full of clothes and other junk — its current occupant is a self storage company — because god forbid people in America actually make anything. We are too busy storing all the cheap crap from overseas that we have accumulated. End domestic manufacturing rant.

Forgotten NY and Vanishing New York both have more information about Eagle if you are interested. More modern day photos of the Eagle Clothes sign can be seen here.


Comments on “Life Archive | Eagle Clothes

    Philipon June 4, 2009 @ 8:40 AM:

    amaaaazing.

    plaidouton June 4, 2009 @ 9:21 AM:

    It’s too bad about the camera. All these photos are so incredibly telling. I love what the tailors are wearing. I love the equipment, the massive scissors. This is an incredible find. But, it speaks to the American consumerist mentality at a deafening level that this place is now set aside for storage.

    casper bangson June 4, 2009 @ 9:42 AM:

    Lovely black and white old timey pics. Dig the one with gentleman in the bow tie and hat.

    INVISIBLE AGENTon June 4, 2009 @ 9:43 AM:

    I have some great 1950’s sack suits from Eagle. They are pretty amazing.

    I.A.

    Chaise Alexanderon June 4, 2009 @ 3:13 PM:

    Rocco makes alot of the suits for Thom Browne and Duckie Brown. Incredible place he has there in Queens. When you walk in it’s like going back in time 60 years.

    Michael Williamson June 4, 2009 @ 3:14 PM:

    He does not make Thom Browne any longer.

    ACL

    Llywarchon June 4, 2009 @ 4:39 PM:

    Fascinating! Another great insight into past.

    Charles G.on June 4, 2009 @ 4:56 PM:

    did you notice that in the pictures of rocco’s factory, in the first picture of rocco himself there’s a bin in the background that say’s “EAGLE CLOTHING & TRIMMING”?

    Michael Williamson June 4, 2009 @ 4:59 PM:

    Good catch!

    Monicaon June 4, 2009 @ 6:11 PM:

    This is a fabulous piece of history.

    Andreaon June 5, 2009 @ 1:15 AM:

    It’s funny the things one notices: all the flags – U.S., and another one that may be the Italian flag (those would be my people); the room full of ladies hand-sewing buttonholes; the little religious picture pasted to one lady’s thread box.

    One wonders if these folks made enough money for decent apartments, nice school clothes for their kids each autumn, and maybe every other year or so, a summer vacation to the Poconos, the Catskills, or the White Mountains.

    We get very attached to our old signs – the White Stag sign in Portland is a good example.

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