The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. had the pleasure of hooking up customer and San Fernando Valley resident Kelly with this vintage 1960s era BIG BEN brand work jacket at The Rose Bowl Flea Market this past Sunday. A simple cossack style short jacket constructed of salt & pepper twist twill cotton fabric (originally referred to as convert cloth) with quilted liner and Talon zipper that will be right at home as part of Kelly's big rig working uniform.
It's always great to see a favorite piece matched up with an appreciative and knowledgeable buyer; it's precisely these type of customers that bring a smile and remind us of just why we work hard to share our passion for vintage workwear.
BLUE BELL / BIG BEN / Wrangler company history.
1897 - 20-year old C.C. Hudson leaves Spring Hill Farm in Williamson County, Tennessee seeking fortune in the emerging textile town of Greensboro, North Carolina. He finds work in an overall factory sewing on buttons for 25 cents a day.
1904 - Hudson's workplace closes. He and a few others buy several sewing machines from the closing company. C.C. Hudson and his brother Homer form the Hudson Overall Company, operating from a loft over Coe Brothers Grocery on South Elm Street in Greensboro.
1919 - Sales of Hudson overalls are booming. The company moves to a larger headquarters and changes its name to Blue Bell Overall Company.
1926 - Big Ben Manufacturing of Kentucky (Est. 1915) purchases Blue Bell for $585,000. The name of the merged companies remains Blue Bell; headquarters remain in Greensboro.
1936 - Blue Bell introduces Super Big Ben Overalls, featuring 100% Sanforized fabric that reduces shrinkage to less than 1%, setting a new standard for the industry.
1947 - Blue Bell Inc. files U.S. federal trademark registration for Big Ben on Oct. 7.