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Home > D Manufacturer Info > Fruit of the Loom History

  History of Fruit of the Loom Inc.

1851  Benjamin and Robert Knight buy their first mill in Warwick, Rhode Island and begin producing cotton cloth and textiles

1856  The B.B and R Knight Corporation adapt paintings of fruit by Miss Skeel, daughter of one of its customers, as printed labels for its cloth and the name 'Fruit of the Loom' is adopted.

1871  'Fruit of the Loom' is registered as U.S. trademark #418 at the United States Patent Office - only a year after the passage of the first trademark law by Congress.  Fruit of the Loom predates the invention of light bulbs, telephones & the automobile.

1893  For the Chicago World's Fair, Robert Knight had new variations on the label prepared as part of Fruit of the Loom's exhibits - including the familiar apple, grapes, gooseberries and leaves, which is still used today.

1902  The Knight brothers acquire the Royal Mill, Rhode Island, then the largest textile plant in the world, as one of their company's 20 mills.

1938  Union Underwear, created by Jack Goldfarb was licensed to use the 'Fruitof the Loom' trademark for its garments.





1959 Advertisement

Union Underwear acquired by The Philadelphia & Reading Corporation in 1955, became the dominant licensee of the Fruit of the Loom Corporation. The Philadelphia & Reading Corp purchased Fruit of the Loom Licensing Company to assure Union the availability of the Fruit of the Loom trademark.

1968  Northwest Industries acquired the Philadelphia & Reading Corporation.

1976  Acquired BVD, known for underwear and swimwear.

1980  The Screen Stars brand is introduced in specifically for the 'imprint' / activewear market.

1985  Bill Farley purchased Northwest Industries and renamed it Farley Industries, but after a year, the company was re-structured as 'Fruit of the Loom, Inc.'

1986  New plants were built in Canada and Ireland.

2001  Fruit of the Loom Inc. celebrates its 150th anniversary, have grown to employ around 23,000 people in more than 50 locations worldwide.

2002  Fruit of the Loom declares bankruptcy.  Shares become worthless.  Company bought by Billionaire Warren Buffet.  Regains profitability.

 2006  The Fruit Guys star in award winning commercial singing "You Can't Overlove Your Underwear."  followed my some award winning commercials - Fruit Guy Fan Commercials

2013  Fruit of the Loom employs over 32,000 people worldwide and is recognized globally for it's quality, value and style.