Enoch Steen was born in Norway in 1888. He grew up on a farm in Minnesota. Hestarted J.B. Simpson, Inc. in 1921 in Chicago. The company manufactured men's suits and sold them, custom-made, directly to the buyer. Salesmen were recruited through ads and given sample books and measurement devices. Simpson, Inc. took over several competing firms and gradually had its own showrooms and stores. One of these was Lewis & Thomas Saltz in Washington, D.C.
Series 1: Material relating to early tailoring companies in existence before the establishment of J.B. Simpson, Inc. in Chicago. Includes magazines, advertisements for salesmen, photographs of vaudeville actors endorsing the clothes, and catalogues of several companies featuring among the regular line, the "jazz style suit."
Series 2: Articles, correspondence and memos on the history and organization of J.B. Simpson, Inc., 1920-1972; also measurement instructions and devices for measuring men for suits, manuals, memos and newsletters which were directed to showroom managers and to the salesmen.
Enoch Steen Collection, 1888-1972, Archives Center, National Museum of American History