This old book from 1916 stood out to me when I first found it because it relates to the custom tailors union from the early 1900s. Another factor in my intrigue was the fact that the tailor that this book belonged to spent a good amount of time in my hometown — a city with a long history in tailored clothing that is now almost completely gone. I was also drawn to this old union booklet because it is a window into the world of American clothing manufacturing labor at the time. Interesting to see this man traveled from Cleveland to the South and then eventually back to Cleveland, working and paying dues along the way. Maybe he moved around to follow the work? I’m not totally sure.
This is the kind of ephemera that I love to find and collect — it is like a window into the past. These days you see the union label (pictured on the middle page below) on all sorts of garments (made domestically and otherwise), but I bet a lot of people don’t realize it was (and still is) real.