The New York Times recently did a story in the real estate section about an old family run uniform company from Brooklyn called W.H. Christian & Sons. I’ve seen the company’s delivery trucks around New York (especially in the Financial District) for as long as I have lived in the city and I am always taken with their appearance. It’s a weird thing to say, but I really love the way those trucks are painted. In 2008 I posted about how they are the best looking delivery truck in NYC.
One of my jobs growing up was as a porter at a Ford store in Cleveland. I had a uniform with a name patch from Cintas and I will always remember what a treat it was to go to my locker and see my fresh set of uniforms. The fun of working at a car dealership, and more importantly, the symbolism of working a job with my name on my shirt has never left me. I also worked for my dad doing landscaping/firewood delivery all through high school and some summers during college. Even though I was fired (by my dad) on several occasions (true story; mostly for being 5 minutes late), I learned a lot about working a job that didn’t get done unless you actually did it. Doing that kind of work, if you are tired or hung over (as I often was) you can’t just sit back and let the day go by, you had to do all the work to be done. I also learned what it is like to have a job that depends on the weather, which, like a job with your name on your shirt, is a different way of life. It’s because of those experiences do I respect the guy with his name on his shirt, and by proxy, the uniform company that puts it there.
Photos via The New York Times.
Comments on “Classic Workwear Since 1924.”
Sad to say but I’ve always been anonymous wherever I’ve worked, even working at my first jobs at sports shops I was just a “sales assistant”. Man.
They’re trucks are really striking.
I was hoping to see a picture of the truck.
I live right around the corner. Always loved the signage and typography.
It’s interesting — We moved to France a year ago, and workers here would never wear a uniform shirt with their name on it. They would see it as demeaning, because in a more-level society like France, with a rich history of socialist and communist workers’ uprisings, the idea (in theory and largely in practice) is that all jobs are valued more or less equally.
The plus side of that is that plumbers/electricians/street sweepers command as much respect as a white-collar worker — and they act accordingly. The minus side is that they will often work as much as they think they need to, rather than jamming to finish a job, as an American worker might.
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