Frank L. Sealy founded the Sealpackerchief Handkerchiefs company around 1900 in New York. Sealy had a vision of creating a high-quality handkerchief that could withstand the rigors of everyday use.
These were the days prior to disposable tissues like Kleenex. People had the disgusting history of carrying around the remnants of their nose drizzle all day long. Imagine hand-washing a used handkerchief!
Theories on the Name
The name “Sealpackerchief” was chosen by the founder of the company, Frank L. Sealy. He was known for his commitment to creating high-quality, durable products. The name is a combination of several elements that reflect the company’s values and approach to manufacturing handkerchiefs.
The first part of the name, “Seal,” may be a reference to the founder’s last name, Sealy. Of course, it could refer to the fact that most were sold in bulk in some form of pack. The second part of the name, “packer,” may reflect the company’s focus on creating handkerchiefs that were designed to withstand the rigors of daily use and could be easily packed and carried. However, it’s hard not to see the word “kerchief” at the end. The two alternates would have to share the “k”.
Kerchief vs. Handkerchief
A kerchief is a type of cloth that is worn on the head or around the neck for decorative or protective purposes. Kerchiefs can be made from a variety of materials, including silk, cotton, or wool, and can be decorated with embroidery, lace, or other embellishments.
A handkerchief, on the other hand, is a small, square piece of fabric that is typically carried in a pocket or purse and used to wipe one’s face or blow one’s nose. Handkerchiefs are also made from a variety of materials, but are typically softer and more absorbent than kerchiefs.
While the terms “kerchief” and “handkerchief” are sometimes used interchangeably, they refer to different types of cloth and serve different purposes. Kerchiefs are primarily worn as a fashion accessory or for protection from the elements, while handkerchiefs are primarily used for personal hygiene.
Quality with a Good Run
Sealy began by importing fine cotton fabric from Europe and then worked to develop a proprietary process for treating the fabric to make it more durable and resistant to tearing. The result was a handkerchief that was strong, soft, and absorbent – a marked improvement over the thin, scratchy handkerchiefs that were common at the time.
Sealy then began marketing his handkerchiefs under the brand name Sealpackerchief, a nod to the company’s commitment to quality and durability. The handkerchiefs quickly gained a reputation for excellence, and sales grew steadily throughout the early 1900s. Despite their claim of durability, Sealpackerchiefs were mostly sold in bulk in dispenser units.
During World War II, Sealpackerchief Handkerchiefs became an essential item for American soldiers. The handkerchiefs were included in soldier’s care packages and were prized for their durability and comfort.
From Practical to a Decoration
The decline in the use of handkerchiefs began in the mid-20th century, when disposable tissues became widely available and affordable. The convenience and hygienic benefits of disposable tissues, combined with their low cost, made them an appealing alternative to handkerchiefs for many people.
Additionally, the rise of allergies and concerns about the spread of germs contributed to the popularity of disposable tissues, as they could be used once and then discarded to minimize the risk of contamination.
Today, there is less need for durability in a handkerchief. Handkerchiefs are now used primarily as decorative accessories. Thus, the durability marketing theme for Sealpackerchiefs loses its impact.
- Year Started: 1900
- Year Ended: 1950
- Origin Of Name: Descriptive / Name of Founder
- Location Sales: Worldwide
- Brand Name Predecessor: N/A
- Brand Name Successor: Kleenex
- Owner Original: Frank L. Sealy
- Owner While In Use: Several
- Owner Successor: N/A
- Year Resurrected: N/A
- What’s Popular Today: Kleenex
- Naics Code: 315990
- Location Headquarters: New York, New York, USA