With accessories like these, it’s no wonder I can’t limit myself to just clothing! Featured today is a 1930s sales brochure from Kleinert’s, a maker of rubber items.
Kleinert’s was started in 1869 as I.B. Kleinert’s Rubber Company . The owner, Isaak Kleinert, started the company to produce his many inventions, all consisting at least in part of rubber. The company’s fortune seems to have been made on the dress shield, little rubber crescents, covered with cotton, that were basted into the underarms of one’s frocks. In the days before anti-perspirants, these little shields saved many dresses from ruin, and many misses from embarrassment! I’ve found many vintage dresses with the dress shields still in place.
But Kleinert’s was not just about dress shields. According to the Kleinert’s website, Isaak Kleinert also invented the shower cap, rubber baby pants, and the shower curtain. For many years they also made rubber swim accessories, such as bathing caps, shoes and totes. They even produced a limited line of swimsuits. I’ve seen Kleinert’s ads for rubber-lined swim caps as early as the 1910s, and they were made at least into the 1960s. But by the 1970s, the swim cap was old-fashioned, and rarely worn except by grandmas and competitive swimmers.
This business is still in operation, still making shields and other moisture protection products. And, quite nicely, still made in the USA.