Ad Campaign – Paddle and Saddle, 1958

“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.


Filed under Advertisements, Novelty Prints, Sportswear, Vintage Clothing

24 responses to “Ad Campaign – Paddle and Saddle, 1958

  1. I love the outfits in the “Denim Dandies” ad! So cute!

    Your red jacket looks like it has never been worn or washed the color’s so bright and pretty! I think it’s interesting that they matched the print on one pocket but not the other, I wonder why.


  2. I was going to say too that I love the “Denim Dandies” outfits. Even though I’m a dress-wearing kind of lady, I would totally sport that vest and capri outfit!


  3. What a fabulous jacket, I can see why you wanted to find out more info about it. I love those “Denim Dandies”!


  4. Lynne

    Another fascinating post!

    Just FYI I found a 1976 article that noted: “A third St. Louis firm, Paddle & Saddle Sportswear, sticks pretty much to fall’s classics. Their designer, Briana Whittemore, offers this advice…”

    I also found ads for Paddle & Saddle coordinates up to 1983, but they were all ads from a factory outlet place.


  5. Ah! I was born in St. Louis, and the name “Rice-Stix” didn’t ring a bell, but I do recall the department store, Stix Baer & Fuller from my childhood (they were purchased by Dillard’s in 1984). Such a fun jacket…all the outfits are cute, and the sandals, too!


    • Stix, Baer & Fuller was partly owned by a cousin of the Stixes who owned the manufacturing company. Do you remember the big downtown Merchandise Mart? St. Louis is a really pretty city with great old buildings.


  6. I just read in Jonathan Walford’s book on the fifties that St. Louis was the hub of junior’s and teen clothing in the US. It looks like this label fits right in.


  7. Love these easy wear designs with class. That print on the jacket is to die for xxx


  8. Sarah

    I was in a vintage store yesterday and found a P&S ensemble. The label on the blouse is like yours–the cursive Paddle and Saddle with registered trademark. The label on the skirt is the Paddle and Saddle Sportswear canoe / horse logo like in the ads above. All of the P&S I own are bottoms–shorts and skirts. They all have the Paddle and Saddle Sportswear canoe / horse logo.

    Anyway, I thought this minor detail was fascinating! Maybe you do, too.


    • I DO think it is fascinating. I’ve been studying online examples of both labels, trying to figure out which came first. It looks like there was some oberlap, and possible both were used at the same time.

      Thanks for sharing that.


  9. edgertor

    ballyhoo vintage still has a ton of deadstock P&S items, that they’ve been selling since the mid-90s. maybe they bought out the company’s stock??


  10. Melodi McKeighan

    I have my mother’s shorts and boy is the waist tiny! They are gray with a cream stripe and look just like the one in Denim is Dandy. Any idea of what it is worth?


  11. Pingback: The Colors of Summer: Red, White, and Blue | The Vintage Traveler

  12. Larry Riegel

    My grandpa Lawrence Riegel Owend the paddle and saddle co. Back in the 70s and 80s then he passed on and left the company to some other relatives at least that’s what I was told


  13. jonathanwalford

    I found a bit more info about Paddle & Saddle. Puritan Fashions merged with Reliance in 1960, but in 1964 Puritan acquired some of Reliance’s labels for their division, and re-registered Paddle and Saddle in 1965. Puritan dissolved in 1982, so the Paddle and Saddle label must have died with them.


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