The Palm Beach suit thread

Discussion in 'Suits' started by Lauren, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    Just curious... Does anyone know when Palm Beach started making suits and when they stopped? Found a jacket today with a gold label and a 49 union tag. Looks 50's to me, so I got curious about the company. Any help would be great!
     
  2. Boy that is a long, long story. The residents of Sanford Maine could probably tell you this same tale but in short, Thomas Goodall was the one who invented the Palm Beach Fabrics in the late 10s early 1920s. Before that it was still the Goodall mills but they produced plush fabrics along with blankets.
    The original Palm Beach fabric became defunct in the 1950s. Precisely 1954 when Burlington mill bought out Goodall. The 1950s saw a near depression in the textile business and Goodall was not immune. Burlington never fully understood how to market and use Goodall's material. There was a brand name Palm Beach that existed into the 1960s but it was not the same kind of fabric as that before 1954. That is my point where I start to forget about Palm Beach material suits and such. There probably were some good suits and such made after that date but it wasn't the same. Cost cutting and the development of synthetic textiles and fabrics ended Palm Beach's reign.
    That is probably more information than you wanted but..... ;)

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  3. Vladimir Berkov

    Vladimir Berkov One Too Many

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    What is Palm beach fabric anyway? Is it rayon?
     
  4. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    Thanks, JamesPowers! The more info the better, as far as I'm concerned. I think this one may be post 54 since the fabric feels a little more like a synthetic blend. It bears the "Palm Beach" label, but it doesn't feel like the older Palm Beach suits. You've been very helpful!
     
  5. Palm Beach Cloth is a blend of linen and wool. I have no idea what the percentages are.

    -- Marc
     
  6. Matt Deckard

    Matt Deckard Man of Action

    I've run into some of their ties from the 60's though I'm not sure when the Palm Beach we know as a brand called it quits.
     
  7. The brand as we like to have it should still say Sanford on the label. Anything after that will not say Sanford because the mill closed in 1954. So you have a demarkation point as 1954. If it says Sanford on the label it was made at the old Sanford Mill before it closed. Anything after that will omit the Sanford on the label unless you found an unscrupulous source or a suit made with the Sanford material but after the closure date.
    You can always tell a Sanford textile by the weave. It is hard to describe but when you see it you know it is a real Palm Beach.
    For a great look at the Mill and old Mr. Goodall, see if you can get your hands on this 1932 film:http://www.aroundmaine.com/Around_Town/nhf/feb2003.asp
    It is a silent film but it has the usual subtitles---play whatever music you like in the background. Maybe we can get one for the QM get together. ;)

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  8. Funny thing is the mill called it a "light weight wool for the summer." :p I don';t think they wanted anyone to know what it was made of other than wool because the public would be suspicious that "new fangled" fabric shrinking or falling apart like in that film with Sir Alec Guiness. ;)

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  9. Wild Root

    Wild Root Gone Home

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    I have some "Palm Beach" ties from the 40's and they are swell! Love the colors and prints. I also have a rare "Palm Beach" bowtie in the collection too. I have never seen another one like it!

    Here is an ad that is rather neat.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    WR.
     
  10. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    That is a great ad! what year is it from?
     
  11. Wild Root

    Wild Root Gone Home

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    Ah, it's from 1924 I believe. Not sure but, if I remember correct that was the year.

    Glad you liked that,

    WR.
     
  12. I think I have you beat Root. ;) I went back and checked my old suit catalogs and found these reference in one of the catalogs:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The problem is that I turned the page and the samples were gone! All that were left were the spaces and numbers for the fabric. :cry: It would have been something to see and feel the real stuff---considering that catalog was put out in 1916! Darn, darn! :kick:
    I also checked some of my other resources and came up with the care sheet that came with the suit. Not much to learn here.
    [​IMG]

    I will keep looking. Maybe there is something I forgot to check still around. I have a 1930s catalog around here somewhere. ;)

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  13. Lauren

    Lauren Distinguished Service Award

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    Now boys, this is not a contest, just a group effort :)

    Funny that the Palm Beach linen is cotton
     
  14. Wild Root

    Wild Root Gone Home

    Messages:
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    Oh, JP and I go back and forward all the time. He is just trying to beat me at a game I have been at for a wile. ;)

    JP knows more about "Palm Beach" but, I know more about radios!

    Keep it coming JP! Let?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s learn some more about "Palm Beach" and what that stuff really was made of.

    Root.
     
  15. Wool / linen blend, wool / linen blend, wool / linen blend ... :drum:
     
  16. Well, not quite. On the 1916 version you see the mention that "This, of course, does not apply to Palm Beach cloths and linens which are cotton fabrics."
    Then you have the care instructions which say that "mohair is present in genuine Palm Beach material and has laundering properties similar to wool."
    It is clear that their "formula" is shrouded in mystery and kept that way in their advertisements. They even differentiate between their cloths and linens. :kick:
    I suppose it could be a wool/linen blend but is that in the cloth or the linen? :p ;) Then again, what is the percentage of each? That would probably be the most important part. And Mohair? They use hair from the guy in The Three Stooges?! :p

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  17. Yep, you know more about radios hands down. :beer: That reminds me that I have to get that old wire recorder fixed to listen to that joke reel from my father and his friends that he would never let me even look at when he was around. :p
    Back to Palm Beach, I checked my other catalog from 1936. There in all their splendor should have been Palm Beach swatches as well but..... Yeah they were gone too. But the color and fibers were still sort of visible in the glue that remained. I was surprised to see all the colors and patterns they had back then. There were blues, grays, tans, browns, greens and even patterns. These were all light colors but they were avaialble if you wanted them. The best was the Palm Beach Tuxedo. The jacket, pants and vest were Palm Beach Material. I hope I live long enough to actually see one of those. A comfortable tuxedo---I'll take two please. :p Then there were the evening jackets with shawl colars but I digress. Maybe I can get some good pictures of the catalog pages.

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  18. This could simply mean that Palm Beach Cloth has mostly cotton in it, and therefore is considered (for washing purposes) a "cotton fabric".




    Mohair is a special hair fiber obtained from the Angora goat. True, it's not wool from a sheep. But then again, it isn't cotton, either. Let me revise my original assertion: Palm Beach Cloth has both cotton (or linen, or both) and mohair.





    It's in the "Palm Beach Cloth", one of the first pre-plastic fabrics to be patented by its manufacturer. Palm Beach Cloth was enormously successful; Palm Beach Linen, much less so. Has anyone here ever seen a so-labeled "Palm Beach Linen" suit? They're just about impossible to find. :cheers1:

    -- Marc
     
  19. Gee, I think I am getting more confused. :p ;)
    I am glad they got the hair from a goat and not Moe though. :cheers1:

    Regards to all,

    J
     
  20. Palm Beach Ties:
    [​IMG]
     

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