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Samuel Thrall Cooper founded S.T. Cooper & Sons, manufacturer of wool hosiery and predecessor of Jockey International, Inc., in St. Joseph, Michigan. Samuel Cooper started the wool socks business as a solution to the blisters lumberjacks were experiencing caused by poor quality wool socks. At the same time, he laid the foundation for Jockey's commitment today to quality and to "Satisfy the Human Need for Comfort".


By this time the company had industrial knitting machines, boilers and engines to run them, a dye house, a yarn spinning operation, 90 employees and a modest brick building to house them all. S.T. Cooper & Sons was producing nearly 2,500 pairs of seamless stockings per day. By all accounts, S.T. Cooper & Sons was a success.


With additional investment from Abel Wells, a Michigan business man, S.T. Cooper & Sons was renamed Cooper, Wells and Company and expanded to a new factory which was called "mammoth" by the local newspaper. Inside the factory were steam-powered knitting machines that steadily increased the output of the factory as word spread and consumer demand for Cooper, Wells and Company stockings grew.



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