Look for the Union Label

Rest assured, every item for sale in the Tiddleywink shop has been researched as fully as possible before being listed. Of course, some items have no manufacturer tags, so it’s up to me to do the best I can with whatever clues I have.* Is there a WPN or RN code? What is the fabric weave? I’m not beyond doing a single-thread burn test to try to identify materials. Who is the maker stamped on the zipper? Is there a PAT PEND on the clasp? What does the cut of the dress tell me? Is there a Union label?

Union labels are very helpful, because they tell me much more than that the item in question was made in the U.S.A. The artwork used on Union labels was changed a few times over the years, and the paper trail behind those graphic changes is quite thorough. There is no doubt whatsoever as to what specific range of years an item with an intact Union label dates to.

So when a seller on eBay is asking $99.99 for a swimsuit with a modern cut, but claiming that it dates to “at least from the 1960s if not the 50s or before,” I take a look at the listing to see more. Lo and behold, there’s a photo of the Union label. The Union label that was used between 1974 and 1995. And from the looks of this swimsuit, I’d put it closer to ’95 than ’74. Okay, it’s entirely possible that this seller doesn’t know about the different Union labels, so I send him-or-her a private message so that the listing can be updated with the correct information.

It’s been a couple of months, and the seller never responded to my message. In fact, the listing is still active, still with the exact same wording. Well, I’m no longer being polite about it. This vendor is consciously misleading potential buyers, and I’m outing them for it. Go ahead and visit the actual listing if you like, here, or contact the seller directly here.

*I may not always get it right, but I try very hard. If you ever see a Tiddleywink listing that you know to be incorrect, please alert me. The more information I have, the better your shopping experience will be.



Filed under citizens, fashion, shopping, vintage

2 responses to “Look for the Union Label

  1. In the 70s, I knew people who used to scrape the bottoms of glassware on concrete to make it look worn. I also knew a guy who would bury new cast iron toy cars in his yard for six months, let them get rusty then sell them as antiques. Some people…

  2. Drewseph

    I like your additude, Fred. *sleepynod* Yup yup.

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