Chalmers also separated the union suit into a top and bottom fastened together with metal snaps, the beginning of the concept of T-shirts and briefs as separate garments.
The new wave in underwear became a revolution. Shortly after World War I, Chambers Knit Underwear was advertised by an electric sign in Times Square. Between 1913 and 1917, the company added a seven story modern plant to its Victorian brick mill on the Mohawk. During World War II, Chalmers converted to an almost all-female workforce and turned out massive quantities of underwear for the military.
But by the 1950s, competition from lower wage areas took its toll and the Amsterdam plant closed. A number of smaller companies sublet the mill buildings into the 1970s, when they gradually became entirely vacant.
Today, a walk around the Chalmers complex is a lonely experience.
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