November 11th, 1911 the Newfoundland Clothing Company opened for the very first time in it’s 275 Duckworth street location. The factory celebrated their opening with a dinner and ball, with 350 ladies and gentlemen in attend. The interior of the building was beautifully ornamented and decorated for the occasion, the place was lit by electricity with noon-day brightness, while the tables were decorated lovely. There were games and dancing on various levels of the building, with heartfelt speeches and cheering by all. Opening over a century ago… I can only dream of what it felt like to be there!
With the seamstresses and tailoresses hard at work, business at the factory soon took off! Producing suits, shirts, overalls, coveralls, etc. with brand names such as Fitreform, Truefit, Progress, Americus, Stylenfit, and Faultless. By 1917, the factory had 150 employees inside, and 30 outside. They were advertised and recognized for their good material, workmanship, quick delivery, and strong attention to detail. In its early days, the clothing factory is described as being a huge operation that was ahead of its time.
Unfortunately, in 1952, the Newfoundland Clothing Company closed its doors for good. Some may say because of confederation, it was simply too difficult for the company to compete with major chains. My hunt for more information continues, and I'm super excited to see what else I can uncover!
Did you or one of your relatives work at 275 Duckworth Street, St. John’s? If so, you are invited to a party! To celebrate the history of their new home at 275 Duckworth Street, the Craft Council of NL is hosting a building reunion in partnership with Heritage NL.
Thursday, August 1st
Craft Council of NL Gallery
275 Duckworth Street, St. John's
Get your free tickets here: