Finding aid for the Joseph and Feiss Company Records, Series II


Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: Joseph and Feiss Company
Title: Joseph and Feiss Company Records, Series II
Dates: 1858-1988
Extent: 17.20 linear feet (11 containers and 15 oversize volumes)
Abstract: The Joseph and Feiss Company was founded in 1841 as Koch and Loeb, a general store in Meadville, Pennsylvania. The store moved to Cleveland, Ohio, in 1845, and when Samuel Loeb left shortly after the move, Kaufman Koch expanded the enterprise to three locations. Other partners joined the company, including Jacob Goldsmith and Julius Feiss in 1865 and Moritz Joseph in 1873. As Goldsmith, Joseph, Feiss & Company, an internal factory was opened in 1897 to begin the production of ready-made men's clothing under the Clothcraft label. After changing its name to the Joseph and Feiss Company in 1907, the company became fully incorporated as The Joseph and Feiss Company in 1920 when it moved into its new factory on W. 53rd Street in Cleveland. The company had originally balanced scientific management with benevolent corporate paternalism in order to keep workers happy as well as healthy. In 1934, the company was unionized by the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union of America and these paternalistic programs were ended. During World War II, Joseph and Feiss became an important manufacturer of uniforms for the United States army and navy. After the war, the company continued to expand its line of products, purchasing Samuel Spitz Company and its Cricketeer label in 1957 and Windbreaker-Danville in 1962. Joseph and Feiss also owned and operated several subsidiaries, including the Naval Uniform Service, Inc. In 1966, Joseph and Feiss merged with Phillips Van-Heusen Corporation and continued to operate under its own name. In 1989, it was acquired by the German clothing firm Hugo Boss. The Cricketeer label was discontinued in 1995 and in 1997 its Cleveland operations were moved to the Tiedeman Road facility in Brooklyn, Ohio. In 2010, the planned closure of that plant was averted after union negotiations. The plant continues to produce 150,000 suits a year. The collection consists of minutes, correspondence, news clippings, inventories, audit reports, tax records, contracts, legal deeds, blueprints, ledger books, personnel records, and booklets.
MS Number MS 5054
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English