|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2007)|
Dr. Denton or Dr. Denton's is a (historically) well-known American brand of blanket sleepers, formerly manufactured by the Dr. Denton Sleeping Garment Mills of Centreville, Michigan. The company was founded in 1865, originally as the Michigan Central Woolen Company, and from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century was probably the single best-known manufacturer of blanket sleepers in the United States. The brand was so well known that Dr. Dentons became (and remains today) a genericized trademark. The trademark has since changed hands several times, but has remained in sporadic use by various corporate entities into recent years.
The name Dr. Denton derives from Whitley Denton, an employee of the company who created the original design on which its product line was based. The appellation of "Doctor" was a marketing gimmick, intended to give the impression that the garments were designed (and implicitly endorsed) by a medical doctor.
In another version, according to Elliott Saunders, a VP with Carrolls Manufacturing, who owned the Dr. Denton's brand in the 1970-80's, the garment was invented by Frank Denton, whose nickname was "Doc." He sewed socks to the ends of his children's knitted pajamas or long johns for them to sleep in during the cold northern winters.
- U.S. Patent 599,995: "Sleeping-Garment"