In amongst the batch of vintage new old stock button down shirts I received from the USA earlier this week were two identical Hathaway white button downs from the 1960s. As well as the fact that unlike almost every other manufacturer of Brooks knock off oxford shirts, these have no placket on the front.
I wasn’t sure if I liked that at first, but then I recalled that many a time in 1940s movies when actors are wearing button downs they are often placket free and double darted at the back instead of box pleats.
I haven’t checked the back pleats on these yet but I do love the ‘neck fill’ tissue paper with the Hathaway stamp.
Rather more alarming is the sinister looking gent with the steely gaze and the eye patch. I did some digging around and found he was a ‘real’ character. A quick check on Wikipedia revealed this:
C. F. Hathaway Company was a private manufacturer of shirts for men and boys, located in Waterville, Maine. It was founded in 1837 and made uniform shirts for Union soldiers during the American Civil War. It is most famous for its “man with an eye patch” advertising campaign, which was created by Ogilvy & Mather in 1951. The man who appeared in the ad was Baron George Wrangell, who was a Russian aristocrat with 20/20 vision, but the advertisement’s creator, David Ogilvy, was inspired by a picture of Lewis Douglas, who had lost an eye in a fishing accident.
Here he is in full glare: