Robert and Benjamin Knight arrive in Warwick, Rhode Island and purchase a large cotton mill. They quickly begin producing high quality cotton cloth (muslin) and other textiles.
The Knight brothers create the phrase "Fruit of the Loom" to describe their very finest cloths.
Robert Knight supplied a shop owner, Rufus Skeel, with muslin fabric. Skeel's daughter painted pictures of a Swaar apples and pasted them onto the cloth. They proved more popular than the plain alternatives. They commissioned the young artist to paint additional pictures with fruit such as pears, peaches, plums and grapes and paste them to the cloth. The rest really is history.
A year after Trademark Laws were passed in the US, the Knight brothers register "Fruit of the Loom. Fruit of the Loom received patent #220 on April 11, 1871 and used the “Hundreds” logo.
The Knight brothers register "Fruit of the Loom" including the Pear logo. The pear received the 418th patent on August 8, 1871 from the USPTO.
For the first time, the logo starts to resemble the global brand identity we know today. Apples, grapes, currants and gooseberries are combined to the logo we know today. The Knights decide to use this image as one of four tickets to represent them at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.
Benjamin Knight, the eldest Knight brother, dies leaving Robert Knight to lead the company.
12 year old Jacob Goldfarb immigrates to NYC from Poland; his mother sends him to live with his married sister.
The cotton market was suffering from a flood of inferior textiles. The Knight decided to introduce his "Unconditional Guarantee" that underwrote the quality of the company’s cloth - covering material weight, thread count and finish. This decision set the same the high standards the company achieves today.
From 1913, the US Navy handed out a white T to every new recruit. These were worn under the uniform except when participating in physical training. Troops would run, jump, climb and perform pushups in white-T's creating a striking visual impression.
The world gets to see the predecessor of one of the most popular shirts of all time. Well starched and stiff with winged collars, the polo shirt was updated for tennis in 1926 at The Open Championships.
The first - ever sweatshirt is developed from cotton jersey. Designed for football players as a lighter, 'quick-dry' practical alternative to wool, the Sweats were also adopted by manual labourers like workers in cold storage facilities as one of the first pieces of comfortable workwear.
Jack Goldfarb buys the Drease family business in Indianapolis, IN. This business becomes known as the Union Underwear Company.
As the fabric market diminishes, the clothing industry gradually moves from bespoke to 'ready to wear'. Pre-made T's and other garments start to appear in most stores across the States.
The company begins production of tie-side broadcloth shorts with a button-front. Jack is the first in the industry to initiate the idea of selling assorted patterns of underwear.
In October 1938, Goldfarb’s Union Underwear Company purchases a 25-year license to exclusive rights to the Fruit of the Loom trademark.
Goldfarb introduces a printed cellophane bag with 3-pairs of shorts inside. This introduction is quickly adopted and becomes an industry standard.
The Air Corps Gunnery logo is prominently featured on a snow-white T-Shirt. It makes the cover and captures the attention of men...and women everywhere.
If you avoid politics...especially on a t-shirt, blame New York Governor, Thomas E. Dewey, he's credited with producing the very first Political or Statement T-Shirt. "Dew-it-with- Dewey" for 1948 Presidential Campaign. He lost, twice.
Marlon Brando stars in a snug fitting T in the movie "A Streetcar Named Desire". Sales go through the roof as men copy Marlon's pioneering style to wear them as an outer garment.
Union Underwear becomes the first underwear company to advertise on television with a commercial for Fruit of the Loom with a spot on the Dave Garroway "Today Show."
Plastisol inks offered a durable, stretchy solution for screen printers. More complex, colourful designs could be produced and garment decoration became more creative.
A multi-colour, rotary machine means that graphics can be produced in less time with less trouble. Screen printing takes off as a result.
Andy Warhol's famous brightly coloured, Marilyn Diptych becomes one of his most recognised images. Now in the Tate, the original popularised the trend of screen printing with eye catching colours.
As well as some magical music, The Woodstock Festival launches the tie-dyed T, the perfect garment for love, peace and happiness.
The hoodie stars alongside Sylvester Stallone in the first ever Rocky movie. It's not branded, it's not colourful, it's just honest, enduring, practical and workman like. Exactly like the film's hero.
Milton Glaser, a designer, sketches "I love New York" on a napkin and single handedly spawns a million imitations. It soon finds its way onto T-Shirts and global city souvenirs take-off.
Declaring it "locker room chic", fashion designer Norma Kamali creates a collection using Sweats and Hoodies - taking them from the street and onto the catwalk.
Fruit of the Loom established subsidiaries in Europe including England, Ireland, Germany and Spain to expand its brand into the European market.
From zero to hero within a couple of years, Fruit's underwear range captures the hearts, minds and everything else of women everywhere. 30 million units are sold in '85 and doubled to almost 60 million by '86.
Liverpool band, Frankie goes to Hollywood, release Relax which is banned by the BBC. Press Agent and Promoter, Paul Morley, develops a "Frankie Says" campaign which appears on T's and proves hugely popular.
The Supergroup, Band Aid, release a charity Christmas single in the same year with the title "Do they know it's Christmas?" emblazoned across white T's.
For the first time, Fruit of the Loom launches an Activewear range available through retail outlets incorporating branded T's, Sweats and Fleeces.
Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden hit the airwaves with their own brand of rock and 'anti-brand' style of clothing. Open flannel shirts reveal ironic, childish T's or purposely low key workwear T's.
Who hasn't seen or worn a Hard Rock Cafe T? Almost as popular as postcards, every tourist wanted a Hard Rock T - from a place far far from home. The further the better. Sometimes the T travelled back to the tourist (as a gift) rather than the tourist traveling to the T.
The Tec entrepreneurs of the early 90's adopt the Polo Shirt as smart casual workwear. The trend soon caught on and other companies emblazoned them with their identity, logos and colour schemes.
You'll find it defined in the Oxford English Dictionary today but it was '93 when Hip Hop cultivated urban fashion culture and "Hoodie" entered the English language and many more afterwards.
Inspired by men who resisted the appearance of a T-Shirt beneath a dress shirt or a Polo, Fruit of the Loom launched the deep v-neck as the T that would not show. Ironically, men who wanted to reveal more also favoured the Deep V, just not under anything.
Can you wear two, three or maybe 257 T's at once? Sanath Bandara could and earned a new Guinness World Record doing it.
100 years of T's! The humble T-shirt has been around for a whole century, finding its way into the wardrobes, closets, cupboards and drawers of men and women around the world.
Express yourself and emblazon it on a T. Celebrities, charities, retailers, sports fans, bachelor(ette) parties and companies have all made smart 'personal' statements using the humble T. The smarter the statement the better.
Fruit of the Loom Europe unveil "The favourite since 1851" campaign.
Find your favourite!