It all started in Alexander City – Alabama, USA, in May 1902, with 10 sewing machines, 8 knitting machines, and a 26-year-old man named Benjamin Russell. The original mill produced ladies’ undershirts and children’s undergarments with a beginning capacity of 150 garments daily. In 1910 Russell Manufacturing Co. became an established business. With a long-term commitment to Alexander City, Ben Russell built the town a kindergarten, school, hospital, hotel, laundry, grocery store, bakery and installed the telephone operation.
Who doesn’t own a hoody or a sweatshirt? Not many people would be a safe statement. Well, at Russell they pioneered it. The iconic classic was first born from an idea in the early 1900’s by Russell Corporation when the owner Benjamin Russell’s son complained that wool shirts used in football practice were too heavy and uncomfortable. Russell then modified a version of an undergarment into the earliest form of what we know today as the sweatshirt – the hooded sweatshirt soon followed.