A Stitch In Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry


A Stitch In Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry | Open November 6, 2015

A new, illustrated history of the Cleveland Garment Industry tells the stories of the immigrant entrepreneurs and workers who made “the rag trade” part of the city’s economy. A Stitch In Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry, written by Associate Curator for Jewish History Sean Martin, Ph.D., and published by Western Reserve Historical Society, is now available.  A companion exhibition developed in collaboration with Barrie Projects willopen at the Cleveland History Center in University Circle on November 6, 2015.

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The garment industry, concentrated in the Warehouse District and along Superior between East 19th and East 25thStreets, left its mark on the city in many ways.  Throughout the 20th century, Cleveland was one of the nation’s leaders in the garment industry.  Small shops established in the 19th century by immigrant entrepreneurs grew to become leading manufacturers.  Companies based in Cleveland made dresses, blouses, sweaters, cloaks, and suits for men, women, and children. Successful manufacturers became prominent philanthropists, helping to turn Cleveland into the best location in the nation, and immigrant workers built lives as Americans.  Workers earned the money to get an education and start their families. The industry declined in the late 20th century, but its mark on the city remains.

The publication A Stitch in Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry is available for purchase now through November 5, 2015 at the Cleveland History Center Museum Store for a special preview discount of $25.00.  Following the opening of the exhibition, A Stitch in Time, on November 6th, the book will be sold at the Cleveland History Center and through other book dealers throughout Northeast Ohio for a retail price of $34.95.

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A Stitch in Time: The Cleveland Garment Industry has been a community project inspired by leaders in the industry and realized by WRHS. Marc Frisch, of Frisch Knitting Mills, and Gary Rand, of Ohio Knitting Mills, cooperated with WRHS to make the book a reality and Cindy Bruml, a member of the WRHS Board of Directors, led the effort to develop the exhibit. We are grateful for their efforts to help us tell this story of immigrant entrepreneurship.

The following foundations and individuals contributed financially to make this history of the Cleveland garment industry a reality:

Stone Rand Philanthropic Fund Mr. and Mrs. Howard Garfinkel
Ruth G. and Sam H. Sampliner Fund Armin Guggenheim
Adler Family Foundation Ms. Lenore Kessler
William & Barbara Klinemen Philanthropic Fund Mr. Stephen C. Lampl
Mr. and Mrs. Louis J. Bloomfield Ms. Phyllis Melnick
Dave and Louise Butz Ms. Donna Moss
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Dery Mrs. Richard Reinberg
Mrs. Patricia W. Dery Ms. Betty Rosskamm
Sheldon Fromson