“BE SURE YOUR NEXT SUIT IS MADE OF BRUNER WOOLENS”: VINTAGE BRUNER SAMPLE CASE
BRUNER WOOLEN COMPANY. Sample case of woolen swatches. New York: circa 1920. Original hinged black paper-covered cardboard box (28 by 11 by 7-1/2 inches), with embossed fold-down front flap and three compartments containing a total of 269 swatches mounted on style cards. $1800.
Original salesman’s sample case, with 269 mounted swatches representing bolts of woolen fabric, sold wholesale to tailors all over the country, each swatch printed with the slogan “Our virgin wool guarantee insures superior tailoring and excellent wear.”
In 1922, the Bruner Woolen Company of New York was said to be the largest woolen goods manufacturer in the world. With its primary mill in Winooski, Vermont and warehouses and display room space in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Cincinnati, Kansas City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, Bruner Woolens offered "quality woolens especially made for high class tailoring, serges and other fabrics by the yard." "For some years before 1922, four corporations, Detmer Woolen Company, Bruner Woolen Company, Mason & Hanson, and Salzer & Wolf, had carried on in the United States sale of woolens and trimmings to tailors by supplying to the trade samples, mounted on style cards, which in turn were put into boxes with order blanks, envelopes addressed to the vendor and explanatory literature… In 1922 the four corporations conveyed their property, including trade-marks, to a new corporation organized under the name Detmer, Bruner & Mason. This company did not manufacture, but purchased woolens and trimmings in the market and sold them to retail merchants by the same means and in the same manner as the predecessor corporations had done" (Wawak Co. vs. Kaiser).
Case moderately worn, cloth hinges holding, damage to only one or two swatches. A scarce example of marketing in the textile industry, in extremely good condition.