About The Author
Jessica Ballard-Barnett is a lawyer by day, and an amateur historian by night. A lifelong Indianapolis resident, she has a passion for old houses with velvet wallpaper, graveyards with ominous markers, and religious relics.
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L Strauss Memory–and another historic Indy “first”: When I was a cub reporter, making $18.25 weekly for 6 day week at Marion, IN Leader-TRibune, the managing editor Gayle Warnock was a “spiffy” dresser. In a field where most dressed like unmade beds, he was dapper, even “spiffy”–suit,collar,tie working attire–and so it was nothing unusual when he went to Indy (big deal) to shop at exclusive men’s store L.Strauss (even bigger deal to we small town folk.) It was somewhere mid-40’s–exact year uncertain. In addition to being “dapper”, Warnock was always abreast of the newest trend both in fashion and new “things.” So, on his return he had something to show off to we in the City Room. From his pocket he pulled a small, navy blue leather-looking rectangle –about the size of 3 postage stamps—sewed on 3 sides and open on the top. And inside, something even stranger. A very thin pressed tin-like metal plate–and it had “impressed” type on it–his name and then a series of numbers—it was a “what is it and what’s it for?” moment for his assembled audience until he explained: “It’s called a ‘charga-plate’ (a word not in our vocabulary or the dictionary then)–you use it to charge purchases and all the Indianapolis stores are using them. Indeed, there came successively similar plates in different colored pleather–Ayres,Blocks—but it very well may be that Strauss was first–at least it was a first for us. PS: I still keep one of mine–wish I had kept all.
Who owns the L Strauss and company brand today?
I have a vintage Swim suit from L Strauss Indianapolis. Vertical, colorful stripes; green, yellow, red, blue, and grey. Two piece, button up top with collar. Double button with zip bottoms of same stripe design and mini pocket with button/ closure. Excellent condition with virtually no wear. Where could I find information on this outfit
I am wondering about Miss Mattler history as a personal shopper history. I do ancestry and my husband had a distant cousin Florence Imogene Mattler Dinnen, born in Indianapolis 1884, married 1910 and divorced about1918. She was in retail and advertising. Died 1979 in White Plains. She was a first cousin to my husband’s great grandmother. Florence worked in advertising before women could even vote. I know she worked in Ft Wayne, Newark, NJ, Cleveland , Cincinnati and eventually NYC. I have gathered much history on her. She died 1978. I am wondering if perhaps the title of Miss Mattler, personal shopper is associated in any way to Florence Mattler Dinnen?
I can’t answer your question on the above, but I am also working on the Mattler family history as I am related to Florence through her mother. If we could exchange any information, I will be quite happy to hear from you.