by Carlton Hendricks
came across this set of four Shirley President Suspenders
advertising posters in the booth of Glen and Lisa Mechanick at
the 2007 National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland.
They're the only examples of them I've ever seen. They
weren't real big posters but the quality was striking and they
were in excellent condition. On the back of the batter
poster is very
interesting text obviously intended for retailers. From it
we learn they were intended to be displayed in the retailers
window. Also, there were six produced, which meant Glen was
missing the "Golfing Girl" and the "Billiard
Girl" ones. Apparently the suspenders were wholesaled in
boxes of six, as the text indicates "You will find one
picture in every half dozen box of Shirley President
Suspenders." Moreover it's indicated if the retailer
was missing any of the set they could write for them by number.
Nothing is mentioned about price so it seems the
posters/pictures were given away to the retailers. The retailers
were instructed to write to the C.A. Edgarton Mfg. Co. in
Shirley Massachusetts. The ShirleyHistory.org website has some
interesting insight about the company.
In 1845, the railroad from Boston to Fitchburg opened Shirley up to further development. The town also became home to many industries including a cordage factory and the C.A. Edgarton Suspender Factory which, by 1890, had become the second largest maker of suspenders in the country.
1881 C.A. Edgarton and Sons opened a factory on Leominster Road to produce webbing for suspenders and garters. Around 1900 - it became known as the President Suspender Company. About 1930 - George Frost Belt Company merged with the Suspender Company. In the early 1960's the President name was dropped and it was just George Frost Company. In 1988 - AMPAC bought the All Star sporting goods line from George Frost. In 1996 - AMPAC bought the George Frost building and rented out portions to other businesses.
excerpt below is from page 4 of my 2007 National coverage story.
Next was one of the best things I saw at the show, a set of four c1900 advertising posters for the Shirley President Suspenders Company. All the posters featured young ladies participating in different sports. There was one for tennis , fishing , baseball , and bowling. According to the back of them there was also a Billiard Girl, and a Golfing Girl that Glen didn't have. Each was 13 1/2" tall x 8 1/2" wide, $12,000.00 for the set of four.