Approximate Lifespan: 1871-1968
Hometown: Wappingers Falls, NY
Sweet-Orr was the East Coast's answer to Levi's and Carhartt. In its heyday, the workwear manufacturer made pants so strong that there are eyewitness accounts of real-life tug o' war contests where they were used in place of a rope. Under the guidance of Clayton E. Sweet, Sweet-Orr outgrew its hometown of Wappingers Falls and moved to a larger facility and factory in Newburgh in 1887. At its peak, Sweet-Orr was making jeans, chore coats, and other workwear that vintage heads still freak out about. Unfortunately, as manufacturing costs rose, more clothing was made overseas, and the public's tastes changed, Sweet-Orr became a victim of the times. By the 1980s Sweet-Orr had become more of a regional denim brand, providing colored jeans, worker stripe chinos, and painter's pants to upstate NY teens. While there have been some attempts to revive the brand via licensing, it hasn't really reclaimed its former glory, and besides, you can't really beat the O.G. stuff. The old Sweet-Orr factory became something of a historical landmark until it burned down in the 1990s.