Botany 500

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Botany 500 is a brand of menswear and suits that was originally part of a firm based in New York City. The name lives on today as a licensed property by several foreign clothing manufacturers.

Manufacturing[edit]

Botany 500 was a brand name owned by the Botany 500 Group of New York. Their men’s suits and sport coats were manufactured in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by H. Daroff and Sons, who were contracted with Botany Mills of Passaic, New Jersey to produce products and later bought the firm outright. Their plant was located at 23rd and Walnut Streets during the 1940s and ’50s and beyond. Until 1945, it was located in the Pitcairn Building at 1027 Arch Street. They also produced another suit called worsted tex that had the image of the head of a German Shepherd dog on its label. The office, on the first floor of the plant, had a stuffed German shepherd standing guard. The seventh and topmost floor contained the top coat design department and a fabric cutting floor.

Decline[edit]

Daroff and Sons and the Botany 500 group went bankrupt in August 1973. An attempt was made to turn the company over to another company, named Cohen and Sons, which was still operating profitably. Because of resistance by the company's employees, Cohen backed out of the deal by the end of September. When Daroff finally closed its doors in December 1973, Cohen and Sons bought the Botany 500 name and assets for $4 million. They planned to keep the labels, marketing, sales, and distribution of Botany as a separate Botany 500 line.

With the garment business taking a downturn during the second half of the decade, the Botany and Cohen and Sons operations ceased production in 1986. The building was sold in 1989 for $1,750,000. Manufacturing under Botany 500 name was then outsourced to foreign companies.[1]

Promotion[edit]

Botany 500 has provided wardrobe for many game show hosts and television presenters, including Phil Donahue of The Phil Donahue Show.[2]

In addition, the company provided the wardrobes for Joey Bishop on The Joey Bishop Show,[3] Danny Thomas on Make Room for Daddy, John Newland on Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, Dick Van Dyke on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Don Adams on Get Smart, Mike Connors on Mannix, Telly Savalas on Kojak, Bob Newhart on The Bob Newhart Show,[4] Dick Sargent on Bewitched, Brian Keith and Sebastian Cabot on Family Affair, Sherman Hemsley on The Jeffersons, Lyle Waggoner on Wonder Woman, Peter Graves on Mission: Impossible, Jack Klugman on Quincy, M.E., and Bill Macy and Conrad Bain on Maude. Ryan O’Neal’s wardrobe was furnished by Botany 500 in his movie Love Story, Jim Perry on Card Sharks, and Richard Dawson on Family Feud.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ The Phil Donahue Show, 1980 interview with economist Milton Friedman. The credit is visible at 6:55.
  3. ^ DwighttFrye (2016-04-10), Joey Bishop Show, retrieved 2016-11-01 
  4. ^ The Bob Newhart Show, Season 2, end credits. Suzanne Pleshette's wardrobe was provided by Judy's.

External links[edit]