Saturday, August 18, 2018

Major Events of the 1900s

Czar Nicholas IIThe Czar Nicholas II
 (pictured left) still looked regal in his Imperial uniforms — no doubt covering a fine union suit of silk or linen — but his defeat in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904 led to the Revolution of 1905. He didn't loose his throne — or his drawers — this time, but it was an omen of what was coming.

Germany’s power was on the rise, just like Japan’s. The difference is that the Japanese were still wearing modified loin-cloth-like underwear, while the German aristocracy entered the 20th century in handmade underwear and in league with Austria and Italy as the Triple Alliance. English, Russian and French politicians, generals and royalty were shaking in their proverbial underpants at the prospect of the Triple Alliance’s threat — so, in 1908, they formed the Triple Entente as a foil to war. It didn't work, as they were to learn in less than 10 years.

Teddy RooseveltMeanwhile, America was feeling her oats, too, and rising to become the political and industrial leader of the entire world. In 1900, Teddy Roosevelt (pictured left) may have been decked out in a new summer union suit from Lewis or a cool Cooper's "Closed-Crotch" union suit when he charged San Juan Hill in Cuba. The underwear would have cost him less than a dollar — and an illustrated catalog of the latest keen fashions in men’s skivvies could have been his for a 2-cent stamp. Whatever he wore, he helped win Cuba's freedom and the Spanish ceding to the US of the Philippines, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Wright BrothersIn touting its Men's Summer Weight Worsted Union Suits, the 1902 Sears Catalog claimed, "The convenience and comfort of union suits has passed the experimental stage." The Wright Brothers (pictured right) left the ground for the first time in 1903, most likely in a vintage version of a knitted union suit no doubt felt warm and cozy while chasing the tailwinds of Kitty Hawk.

Henry FordHenry Ford (pictured left) incorporated Ford Motor Company in 1903 and created the Model T in 1908. He was soon a fashionable kingpin in the rich social scenery of the Detroit countryside. Perhaps the dapper gentleman chose Roxford skivvies, identifying with its quickly growing reputation around brand identification — something Mr. Ford would have held in high regard. Or, perhaps, he chose the tradition of the Colonial "Made-to-Measure" brand of underwear. Or being a pioneer himself, he might have sashayed into a hip haberdashery of the time to find a rib knit union suit or some Porosknit skivvies in the new "mesh" knit — all so modern for 1910 ... and all so "neat" even today.


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