“Clothes” harmony by… Paddle & Saddle
Styles reminiscent of the Gay 90’s by Paddle & Saddle… they’ll be versatile headliners in your Spring and Summer wardrobe.
I had Paddle & Saddle on my mind because I recently bought a late 1950s or early 60s short sleeve jacket with that label. And then in the post on the golf skirt, Sarah mentioned that she had a similar divided skirt by Paddle & Saddle. It was enough to send me on a search for information about the company.
Like some of the items in the ad, my jacket is made from cotton duck. It’s classic American sportswear – the type of thing I love.
There is always a problem doing online searching when you have only nouns like paddle and saddle. Luckily I noticed that little R in a circle which means the name is a registered trademark. I went to the US trademark search site and there it was. The brand was trademarked in 1936 by Rice-Stix Dry Goods of St. Louis. If you look at the ad, you can see that in 1958 Paddle and Saddle was a division of Reliance Manufacturing in St. Louis. So thanks to google I was able to fill in the gaps.
Rice-Stix started out as an importer of dry goods – things like fabrics and linens. They began business in Memphis, Tennessee during the Civil War, but moved to St. Louis in 1879. By the turn of the century Rice-Stix was the largest business in St. Louis. At some point they began the manufacture of clothing, establishing quite a few labels like Paddle and Saddle, Perfecto and Kerry Knight. In the early and mid 20th century St. Louis was an important garment making center, with Rice-Stix being an important part of that industry.
In a 1909 directory of prominent St. Louis citizens, I read that Charles Rice, son of one of the founders, was a member of the Paddle and Saddle Club. He must have loved that club a lot to name a label after it!
In 1955, one of the older owners died, and the company fell victim to a take over. The Rices and Stixes were out, and Reliance Manufacturing was in. The label continued on until at least 1977, which is where the trail runs cold.
The beautiful old Rice-Stix building became the St. Louis Merchandise Mart. It still stands today and has been converted to apartments. I was in St. Louis last year, and I was amazed at their vibrant downtown. Many people are choosing to live in the old commercial buildings, and there is a lively restaurant and bar scene.
Some more photos of that great jacket:
And here are a few more ads. These are from 1952 and 1953.