Kleinert’s Incomparable Bathing Togs

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.


Filed under Proper Clothing, Sportswear, Summer Sports

15 responses to “Kleinert’s Incomparable Bathing Togs

  1. The bathing caps are great, but what I really like are the plaster mannequin heads! And as soon as I opened this, I wondered if you knew this was also Kleinert’s dress shields, but I should have known you would be on top of that!


  2. vogue vintage

    Oh my…the bathing cap that looks like a hat eeeeee! I have a friend who has one that is blue hair with a little black velvet bow, but he won’t let me have it 😉


  3. I am also obsessing over the swim caps that look like hats in the bottom page. So amazing!!!! Thanks for posting!


  4. I’m with Mary. LOVING those caps on the bottom page….and I NEEEEEED a pair of 30s beach sandals. I will not stop until I find a pair (and in my size). Sighs…thanks for these amazing images to drool over!!


  5. So are bathing togs the caps? I’m confused because what I call togs aren’t visible in the ads.

    In some parts of Australia and New Zealand, togs are bathing suits (also known as bathers, swimmers, or cozzies, depending which part of the country you are from).


  6. Vireya, You are confused because I didn’t show the page of swimsuits. For some reason I didn’t scan that page when I did the rest of them ages ago. There are only 3 styles, and not very inspired.

    I did learn something today; I had no idea “togs” means “swimsuit” in some parts of the world! I had always taken the word as a synonym for “clothes” and it can be used that way. But the definition according to Webster is: clothing; especially : a set of clothes and accessories for a specified use.

    Somehow I knew I was not going to be the only person who wants to place an order from this catalog!


  7. Debby

    This is great. Amoung my swimsuit collection mostly by Catalina and Sea Nymph I have a bathing cap called a Turbana. White oil cloth with two(2) wide ties. The tag (thankfully attached) states to cross tie at the back of your neck and bring around to tie a bow over your forehead. Sold for 75 cents.


  8. Aha! Thanks for the explanation. I have heard togs used in the general sense, but I’d forgotten because of its specific meaning here.


  9. Pingback: A Bit More from Kleinert’s « The Vintage Traveler

  10. kathryn kern willis

    my father was in sales for kleinert in the southeast. our family had all of those wonderful
    bathing caps and dress sheilds. to bad we did not keep them , since they were so


  11. Pingback: US Rubber Swim Cap, Circa 1960 | The Vintage Traveler

  12. Pingback: Ad Campaign: Kleinert’s Sava-Wave, 1952 | The Vintage Traveler

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