Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Harding, Tilton and Hartley

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May 1935.
June 1939.
November 1951.

Van Heusen of Kinnaird House, Pall Mall East, London, SW1 Telephone: Regent 2766 (2 lines). Cables: "Vanhennat, Piccy, London". (1929)

of King's House, 9, 9, and 10 Haymarket, London, SW1. Telephone: Whitehall 1531. Cables: "Vanheunat, London". Factory at Taunton, Somerset. (1947)

  • 1881 Moses Phillips and his wife Endel began sewing shirts by hand and selling them from pushcarts to local coalminers in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, USA. Sensing opportunity, Phillips and his son, Isaac, went to New York City to start a shirt business. As their business developed, they showed foresight by placing one of the first ever shirt ads in The Saturday Evening Post. The foundation was laid for a modern, marketing-driven company.
  • 1910-1921 In Holland, John Manning Van Heusen developed a unique process of fusing cloth on a curve, creating a soft, comfortable self-folding collar that captured the stiff fashion-collar look of the era. Travelling to the United States to find a partner, he met Seymour Phillips, Moses' son. They joined forces, creating the Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation.
  • 1919 A patent was granted for the Van Heusen collar. Production of 'The World's Smartest Collar' commenced and Phillips-Van Heusen was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Two years later, the Van Heusen patented collar was introduced to the public with immediate and overwhelming success.
  • 1920-1930 Van Heusen's son, of the same name, travelled to England and concluded two key arrangements. In Hyde, J. and J. Ashton was approved as designated weaver, and in Taunton, Robert M. Moody was retained on a commission basis to manufacture collars. Production began in 1922. In 1929, the Collarite shirt - the first collar-attached shirt - was introduced.
  • 1924 Colour advert on this page for Van Heusen Collar. [1]
  • 1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Collars, Shirts, Neckbands and Cuffs. (Stand No. T.27) [2]
  • Growth followed with a expanded range of colours and the introduction of the popular Country shirt collection featuring an attached collar using the original semi-stiff fabric. Van Heusen's profile, already high throughout the United Kingdom, was raised further by members of the Royal Family who favoured Van Heusen collars.
  • 1935 Harding, Tilton and Hartley purchased the worldwide rights (excluding the Americas and American Island Possessions) to the Van Heusen name. The Company later purchased J. and J. Ashton and adopted the title The British Van Heusen Company.
  • 1947 British Industries Fair Advert for "Van Heusen" - The Quality Shirts and Collars. Manufacturers of "Van Heusen" Semi-stiff Collars. "Van Heusen" shirts. "Harding" Brand for Wear with Separate Collars. "Country" Brand Semi-Stiff Collar attached. "Collarite" Brand Covered Collar attached. (Textiles Section - Earls Court, Ground Floor, Stand No. 375) [3]
  • 1952 Headquarters moved to Saville Row, the famed focal point of English men's fashion.
  • 1974 The British Van Heusen Company was awarded a Royal Warrant as Shirtmakers to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] History World
  2. 1929 British Industries Fair p75
  3. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 465; and p129
  • [2] Van Heusen Website