A History of Union Labels
January 18, 2009
The Steel Zipper has an amazing guide to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America’s union labels. All of my suits and sport coats from the 1950’s – 1960’s have these labels. Check out the time line below.
In 1933, ACWA started to include a union label in all garments that were produced. The vintage tag shown above illustrates the union's sewing machine symbol and scissors in the center of a diamond with red numbering across the center of this tag. The left side of the tag will read " Union Made" on the first line and either "Work Clothes", "Suit", or "Garment" on the second line. The lower left corner of the tag underneath the "Workers of" will read copyright 1934 by ACW of A. (1934 - 1936)
In 1939 a new tag was issued. The 1939 vintage label is identical to the 1934 issued tag. It has all the same features listed above except a new copyright date of 1939 followed by ACW of A. The right side of the tag will have the union bug mark followed by an number 80. (1939 - 1949)
In 1949 the union label tag was redesigned. The vintage clothing tags of this type illustrate a sewing machine in the center, without scissors and a new layout for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America text. The red numbering will be on left of the tag and a "copyright 1949" will be on the right of the tag followed by a series code consisting of 3 letters. The lower left corner will not contain a circled R. (1949 - 1962)
In 1962 the circled R trademark symbol was added to the lower left corner of the tag. These tags will stil have the copyright date of 1949 on the right hand side. In later years, the numbering on the left was changed to black instead of red. (1962 - 1972)