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.
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.