Seattle 1978

Seattle 1978

Thursday, July 26, 2012


It's swimming and vacation season. According to family lore my great grandmother Olga Espelien Andrew tried to help her son, Orville Andrew keep up with the times in the 1920s but not having the money to purchase anything fashionable took it upon herself to repurpose the wool yarn unraveled from an old, orange sweater and knit her son a bathing suit of the latest style. He was even pleased with the results and proudly wore it to swim with the other teenagers at nearby Fraser River. Imagine his horror when the yarn after becoming wet, stretched awkwardly long down to his ankles. At that point, Great Grandmother Olga then squirreled away enough money to purchase a store bought suit.

In 1910 the Portland Knitting Company went in to business. The name changed in 1918 to Jantzen Knitting Mills. The bathing suits were knit from 100% wool and matching stockings and stocking caps completed their swim ensembles. You might enjoy further history from Jantzen's timeline. In addition to swimming suits, they eventually added vacation wear to their line. 

I'm actually quite fond of many of their mid-century styles:

"More fun than Money!"

May 9, 1955 Life Magazine


May 23, 1955 Life Magazine

"'It' as in Italy"

June 20, 1955 Life Magazine

"Jantzen for men of action!"

June 27, 1955 Life Magazine

"The next time you see Paris! this is what you'll see"

June 4, 1956 Life Magazine

"Flip yourself into a Jantzen Reversible!"

June 18, 1956 Life Magazine

"Italian stripes"

June 25, 1956 Life Magazine

"Any port in the sun Jantzen sunclothes"

May 13, 1957 Life Magazine

"Nobody stays home anymore thanks to Jantzen sunclothes"

May 20, 1957 Life Magazine

"All girls are gorgeous in Janzten swim suits"

May 27, 1957 Life Magazine

"The Acapulco High Divers by Jantzen"

June 10, 1957 Life Magazine

"The look a man likes"

June 17, 1957 Life Magazine

"Jantzen top fashion knitted blazers fitted pants"

May 12, 1958 Life Magazine

"Jantzen family plan . . . no age limit"

May 26, 1958 Life Magazine

"top fashion: the soft touch"

June 9, 1958 Life Magazine

"top fashion portofino stripes"

June 16, 1958 Life Magazine

"if you care how you look while you play"

May 25, 1959 Life Magazine

"Just wear a smile and a Jantzen"

May 23, 1960 Life Magazine

June 6, 1960 Life Magazine

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