Pleasant Henderson Hanes and his brother James Gordon Hanes sold a very successful tobacco business in the 1890s to the American Tobacco Company, organized by James B. Duke. With the proceeds, the brothers founded a knitwear business. Pleasant joined with his two sons, to open P.H. Hane. sThe P. H. Hanes Company produced underwear and other related items. Children’s one-piece sleepers are still popular today. Men’s T-shirts developed as undergarments and worn extensively by soldiers during World War II, became popular outer garments.
Top Left: “Merrichild Sleepers” Life Magazine, 1947
Top Right: Men’s “Action Shirts” Life Magazine 1950
Hanes Underwear and Tee Shirts, 1947 and 1948
NC State Agromeck
Courtesy of Peter Metzke
Source: Powell, William S., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, Vol 3, H-K, Accessed June 4, 2010. Net Library