Loma Leads etc

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Label Q & A' started by gossamer, Jan 30, 2019.

  1. gossamer

    gossamer Registered Guest

    Boy did I find out more than I anticipated when I started digging into this label!
    Screen Shot 2019-01-27 at 8.26.20 PM.png

    The label comes from this dress, which I think is 1950s, at least that's how it was listed and what it looks like to me based on style and construction:
    DAM_2019.01.26 copy.jpg

    Initially I was skimming eBay auctions and a few listings on Etsy for this brand, but not finding much. Although I did find a second one of these dresses and learned from messaging its seller that originally there would have been a belt with mine too. I also found three advertisements from Vogue and LIFE in this way.

    It occurred to me to try a Google search not just in web results but specifically in the Books section. This helped a lot.

    This led me to discover that the company which made Loma Leads was the Loma Dress Co. Some further digging using Google Books and the NY Times' archive uncovered so much!

    Loma Dress Co.

    In the Jan 27 & 28, 1927 eds of the NYT, classified listings that Loma Dress, located then at 240 W. 35th, was searching for quantities of black crepe Roumaine silk. These are the first mentions of Loma Dress in the paper.

    On Sept 1, 1928, the NYTimes listed the Loma Dress Co as one of eighty new corporations chartered on that day followd by the number 100,000, what I assume refers to shares in the new corporation.

    On Sept 15, 1934, the New York Times published a story on p15 about how the National Recovery Administration ruled that Loma Dress Co owed its workers $17,500 in back pay for paying them under minimum wage requirements of the code for the dress manufacturing industry. In the same issue, on p28, another piece notes that there were, in fact, three violations: "failure to pay minimum wage, failure to pay stipulated rates for overtime work, and for exacting kickbacks from manufacturers."

    On July 7, 1936, the Loma Dress Co. offices were raided as part of an ongoing investigation into racketeering in relation to two individuals: Louis (Lepke) Buckhouse and Jacob (Gurrah Jake) Shapiro (aka the heads of Murder Inc.), the NYT reported on the following day (p1, 4). The article states that Buckhouse and Shaprio employed "250 'strong arm men' in the garment, trucking and baking industries." Co-owners Joseph and Harry Rubin, and their lawyer Carl M. Cohen were later arrested, plead "not guilty" and released on bail (NYT Oct 2, 1936, p.46). On Dec. 15, 1936, the NYT reported that the brothers were convicted of operating two dummy corporations without disclosing their association to the Loma Dress Co. Carl M. Cohen, now identified as their brother-in-law,was found not guilty. On Jan 14, 1937, the Times followed this up with the report that, for their cooperation with the prosecution, Joseph (age 33) and Harry (age 30) were given six months probation.

    I have found three advertisements specifically for the Loma Leads brand:
    Nov 1, 1938 edition of Vogue (http://library.mesolore.org/documents/WolfeRise1938.pdf),
    and in two 1940s LIFE magazines - Jan 22, p 71 (https://books.google.com/books?id=sD8EAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA71&dq="loma+leads"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiQ_c6k7ZbgAhWHnoMKHXA6B8EQ6AEwAXoECAQQAg#v=onepage&q="loma leads"&f=false) ; Sept 9, p4 (https://books.google.com/books?id=H0oEAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA4&dq="loma+leads"&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiQ_c6k7ZbgAhWHnoMKHXA6B8EQ6AEwAHoECAAQAg#v=onepage&q="loma leads"&f=false)

    There is the following label-like detail in all three of the advertisements.
    Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 6.13.52 PM.png

    Loma Dress Co. was the defendant in a 1941 court case Mary Muffet Inc. vs. Loma Dress Co. Inc (https://www.leagle.com/decision/194145439fsupp4151331) in which Loma Dress was accused of copying patented dress designs from Mary Muffet Inc. The judge agreed that Loma had indeed copied the dresses, but also that the patents themselves were invalid because, "After having heard and reviewed the testimony, and with these decisions as guides, I can conclude only that invention is lacking in plaintiff's designs and that what I do find is the product of the skill of an experienced designer. I find that the product does not involve "a step beyond the prior art requiring what is termed 'inventive genius'". It will not be necessary for me to go into detail in analyzing the various elements that go to make up plaintiff's design. Suffice to say that I have found in the various exhibits offered by the defendant, to show the prior art, many instances of the various elements and details which go to make up plaintiff's design. True all of them are not found in one garment, but this is not necessary. What has been done, is to take various elements old in the art, and combine them in a dress; the result being that which one would expect from a good, skilled designer. .....Taking it all in all, I find nothing new or striking in plaintiff's two garments, and nothing of any great novelty; nothing which amounts to invention. I therefore have come to the conclusion that plaintiff's patents are invalid, and I direct that a decree be entered dismissing plaintiff's complaint."

    Joseph Rubin donated a Monet of waterlilies to the Dayton Art Institute in November 1953. (https://www.daytonlocal.com/blog/lifestyle/monets-waterlilies-at-the-dayton-art-institute.asp and https://www.museumsandtheweb.com/mw2001/papers/anable/anable.html)

    Founder Israel Rubin's death notice was printed in the Dec 24th, 1955 edition of the NY Times, from a heart attack at the company showroom. Wife: Bertha. Children - Joseph, Rene Cohen, Harry. Many memorial notices were printed in the Dec 25, 1955 edition of the NY Times. I assume the "by Rene" on the 1938 label in the Vogue ad refers to Rene Cohen taking part in the family business as a designer.

    Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 6.21.27 PM.png

    A memoir by Daniel Wolfe, titled Seabury Place: A Bronx Memoir (iUniverse, 2007), specifies that when he worked there in 1948, Loma Dress Co occupied the 6th and 7th floors of the building (p290) at 501 7th Ave. He also notes that one of the four departments of the corporation was called "Patricia Fair," (p292) which is, in fact, another dress brand name.

    A report on a promotion one Loma Dress Co. employee received, printed in the Jan 20, 1955 edition of the NYT, p40, gives the added detail that "Carol Craig" (https://www.etsy.com/search/clothing?q=carol+craig&explicit=1) was their misses label and "Patricia Fair" (https://www.etsy.com/search/clothing?q=patricia+fair&explicit=1) their juniors label. What label the fourth department used remains to be discovered.

    The Greater New York Industrial Directory of 1957 lists the following information for Loma Dress Co: Pres pa [I am not certain of this abbreviation] Joseph Rubin, Sec trea Harry Rubin, Per mgr A. Friedman, Cap $1,000,000, Emp 15.

    Joseph Rubin died in late April 1963. (NYT 28 Apr 1963, p89).

    On p 141 of The golden heritage: a history of the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York from 1917 to 1967. Including the services and facilities of the member agencies of federation and a listing of the contributors to the golden 50th anniversary campaign (1969), three names are listed below the Loma Dress Co. - Harry Rubin, Carl M. Cohen, and Arthur Rolfe.

    Remaining questions/issues:
    1) What was the fourth department of Loma Dress Co.? (If I could access the entire books instead of just the snippet view of some google results, I might be able to find this. Or perhaps you know?)
    2 )When did Loma Dress Co. cease production of its various brands?
    3) I also want to reach out to etsy sellers who have photographed the labels in Carol Craig and Patricia Fair dresses so that we can put those brands into the label resource too. Or maybe you've seen these labels in your own collections?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
  2. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

  3. lkranieri

    lkranieri Trade Member

    Wonderful sleuthing!

    The 1955 Standard Advertising Register shows only three Loma departments:
    and I have a question for you...how did/do you access the old Vogue magazines at that site? I tried and wasn't able to see any other than the one you posted.
  4. gossamer

    gossamer Registered Guest

    Thanks Midge & Lynne!

    I am most appreciative of the screenshot from The Standard Advertising Register. The snippet Google showed me cut off everything below the third line so I couldn't see how many other brands were listed. Unsurprised that the memoir written in 2007 about 1948 included a misremembered number of departments!

    As for the Vogue piece, I was led to it by google as well so I didn't manage to access any other issues. I think the pdf is there because it's an early article about Frida Kahlo, not that someone has scans of all issues of Vogue easily accessible (alas!). But I should really check my school library... hmmm
  5. Shelly

    Shelly Registered Guest

    I am new to this forum.I actually found it while I was searching for information on a Carol Craig dress I own.I was thrilled to run across this thread. I've included a picture of the label and also a few of the dress. It does seem very well made.The detail is black velveteen and faux rhinestones.It also has a lining in the skirt...similar to coarse gauze? From the style and fabric I had mistakenly thought the dress was late 40's early 50's.So far the clothing that I've found online by this manufacturer has been from late 50s and 60's.I'd love any insight on this dress .

    Attached Files:

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