International Ladies Garment Workers Union

Displaying 1 - 12 of 109
Author: 
Rebekah Aycock
University of Kansas

Born Ellen Quinlan in Parsons, Kansas, Nell Donnelly Reed was the founding owner of the Donnelly Garment Company. The women’s clothing line became a national sensation. Reed’s was the first company to mass produce affordable and attractive ready-to-wear clothing for women. She was one of many people to capitalize on the garment industry’s move to Kansas City and other spaces outside of the Northeast. Reed was a talented designer who envisioned the mass production of flattering, beautiful clothing for working class women. After selling a few of her new designs to local stores, Reed decided to open her own shop. This was the start of the Donnelly Garment Company, officially founded in 1916. The innovation and glamour of Reed’s professional and social life in Kansas City, especially after her advantageous marriage to former-Senator James A. Reed, is clouded by accusations of her abusive managerial practices and her clashes with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union.

Genre: 
Physical Objects

Banner for the Coat and Suit Workers Local 270 of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, as seen on display at the entrance to the Kansas City Garment District Museum.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Death certificate for Lottie Conroy issued by the Missouri State Board of Health. She died on March 24, 1934, and her cause of death is listed as second and third degree burns resulting from her clothing catching fire.

Genre: 
Photographs
Clippings

Photograph of a woman with torn clothing, "caught in the middle of a fight between women garment workers and strike pickets," outside of a dress factory in Memphis, Tennessee.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Esther E. Smith'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, Smith decribes the positive relationship between the ILGWU and the Missouri Garment Company and the changes she perceives in the industry prior to and after unionization.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

J. M. Braun'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, Braun describes his positive experience as the manager of a St. Louis garment company working with a union contract, noting improved efficiency, productivity, and higher earnings for workers.

Genre: 
Photographs

An employee of The Donnelly Garment Company using a double stitching machine in the Corrigan Building at 1828 Walnut, Kansas City, Missouri.

Genre: 
Photographs

Photograph of a police officer restraining a protester 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: 
Photographs

Photograph of police 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. This photograph was taken near the back entrance of the building by Kansas City Journal-Post newspaper photographer George Cauthen.

Genre: 
Photographs

Photograph of James A. Reed and Nell Donnelly Reed's sunroom in their home at 5236 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Missouri. The caption reads, "#4 Sunroom. Photograph made thru east window from outside. Camera pointing west. By Rich S. Welch, Operator."

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

Ora Thornton'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, Thornton asserts that the union has provided many positive benefits to the members of ILGWU Local 250 in North Kansas City, MO.

Genre: 
Miscellaneous Documents

I. D. Goldberg'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, Goldberg lists the the material costs of the dresses his St. Louis garment company manufacturers, and describes a positive relationship between his company and the union with which it has contracted, citing benefits for the company and its employees.

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.