Donnelly Garment Company

Displaying 121 - 130 of 130
Genre: 
Photographs

Photograph of Wave Tobin and a group of protestors at a demonstration on March 17, 1937 by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. This image was captured outside of the Gordon Brothers Garment Company, Gernes Garment Company, and Missouri Garment Company building at 2617 Grand Avenue (now Grand Boulevard), Kansas City, Missouri. The sit-in turned into a riot as violence began between garment company workers, union protesters, and police. This photograph was taken near the back entrance of the building by Kansas City Journal-Post newspaper photographer George Cauthen.

Genre: 
Leaflets

A leaflet for the public, written by the Kansas City Joint Board of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU). The ILGWU requests that the public boycott the Donnelly Garment Company for denying of its workers "the rights and privileges, wage scales, and hours of work that prevail in every shop in the dress industry throughout the country." Included in the leaflet is a copy of a letter written from ILGWU Kansas City Joint Board Manager Wave Tobin to the Donnelly Garment Company on March 9, 1937 addressing concerns by the union.

Genre: 
Photographs

Photograph of James A. Reed and Nell Donnelly Reed's living room in their home at 5236 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The caption reads, "#2 Living room showing entrance to sunroom left and breakfast room right. By Rich S. Welch, Operator."

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Omar Rose's affidavit in Equity Case No. 2924: Donnelly Garment Company and Donnelly Garment Sales Company, Plaintiffs, vs. International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and all members of said union as defendants in this class action. In this affidavit, Rose attests to a positive relationship between ILGWU Local 250 and the Stern, Slegman & Prins garment factory and describes higher pay and fewer hours of work since the affiliation.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Leonard Williams's affidavit in Equity Case No. 2924: Donnelly Garment Company and Donnelly Garment Sales Company, Plaintiffs, vs. International Ladies' Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) and all members of said union as defendants in this class action. In this affidavit, Palmer discusses advertisements for "Nelly Don" dresses in multiple 1937 issues of Vogue magazine.

Genre: 
Photographs

A Donnelly Garment Company designer showing a sewing machine operator how to work with her original design.

Genre: 
Photographs

Photograph of policemen restraining a protestor at a demonstration on March 17, 1937 by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. This image was captured outside of the Gordon Brothers Garment Company, Gernes Garment Company, and Missouri Garment Company building at 2617 Grand Avenue (now Grand Boulevard), Kansas City, Missouri. The sit-in turned into a riot as violence began between garment company workers, union protesters, and police. This photograph was taken near the back entrance of the building by Kansas City Journal-Post newspaper photographer George Cauthen.

Genre: 
Correspondence

A letter from International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) Kansas City Joint Board Manager Wave Tobin to Fred L. Smith of C. J. Gayfer and Co., Mobile, Alabama. Tobin urges Smith to inform the Donnelly Garment Company that C. J. Gayfer and Co. will no longer carry Donnelly garments if they do not cooperate with the ILGWU. Tobin then outlines her grievances with the Donnelly Garment Company and presents her case to Smith.

Genre: 
Photographs

Photograph of James A. Reed and Nell Donnelly Reed's home at 5236 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The caption reads, "#1 Southside of Senator Reed's home. Camera pointing north. By Rich S. Welch, Operator."

Author: 
Kyle Anthony
University of Saint Mary

The history of the Donnelly Garment Company and its battle with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU) is one that defies conventional understandings of American life in the Great Depression. It is a story of a female entrepreneur succeeding in an era of economic paralysis, and one of a union failing to organize a factory in a period when workers won substantive rights. ILGWU president David Dubinsky, Nell Donnelly Reed, and Senator James A. Reed were the principal figures in a contest to organize a single garment factory, a legal battle that came to represent much larger questions.

Pages

KANSAS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY | DIGITAL HISTORY
Civil War on the Western Border: The Missouri-Kansas Conflict,1855-1865.
The Pendergast Years, Kansas City in the Jazz Age & Great Depression.
KC History, Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Kansas City Public Library.