The first pair of Sweet-Orr’s overalls were made in Wappingers Falls, New York, 1871. These off the shelf garments were the dream of founder James Orr (or “Uncle Jim”).

“Uncle Jim” had spent time panning for gold during the California Gold Rush and returned from the West Coast with a bold idea. To create America’s first quality off-the-shelf workwear items. At the tender age of 50 years old the serial, unsuccessful, entrepreneur decided this was a dream worth pursuing.

As a persuasive salesman, Orr convinced his nephews Clayton and Clinton Sweet to buy into his dream of making superior workwear.At first, no one was quite sure what to make of the overalls. But with workers producing these garments at a rapid rate “Uncle Jim” had 900 pairs of overalls without a single buyer.

The Sweet-Orr Story | 150 years of superior workwear

James A. Orr

Clayton E. Sweet

Sweet-Orr Founder Clinton W Sweet

Clinton W. Sweet

After a quick talking to from the nephews, “Uncle Jim” packed them into a carpet case and headed off into the world to sell them. He returned to the workshop in a matter of days without overalls and orders for 3000 more. Within a few years of hard work, creative advertising, and innovative workwear developments, Uncle Jim had elevated the small company into the quintessential American success story.

Sweet-Orr Factory 1871 – Wappinger Falls, New York, United States.


Sweet-Orr Tug of War

Sweet-Orr’s logo is iconic and forms a part of the brand’s innovative identity. In 1880s Sweet-Orr salespersons needed an inventive way of promoting their wears. They issued the challenge that six men taking part in a tug of war could not pull them apart. This unique marketing demonstration is now forever captured in the brand’s logo.

Also, creating the timeless iconic Ace of Spades range, the brand became a part of American culture in the early part of the 20th century and eventually its ambitions grew. Traveling the world to every corner of the globe. Settling down wherever superior workwear was needed.