Smart Fashion at Obermiller Bros.

This turn-of-the-twentieth-century catalog has seen better days, but it provides evidence of an early Cuba City clothing business. Obermiller Bros. got its start as a men's clothing store in Galena, Illinois. Brothers Henry and William opened a second location in Cuba City by 1903. They had their eyes on a bigger prize, however, and left Cuba City in the spring of 1905 after purchasing a large store in Sterling, Illinois.

The Obermiller Bros. sold clothing from B. Kuppenheimer & Co., a well known and respected men's clothing manufacturer in Chicago. Kuppenheimer fun facts: The company manufactured uniforms for the U. S. military in World War I and World War II, and it outfitted Rod Serling on The Twilight Zone in the 1960s.

Enjoy some select pages from the 1903 Review of Kuppenheimer Spring & Summer Fashions, as sold by the Obermiller Bros.:

"The 'Kent': Sack Suit, Three-Button Style. $12.00 to $30.00. With very few alterations this style is the same as it was last season, and no doubt will be more popular than ever. It is the most fashionable Sack Suit we make. The coat is particularly dressy, being made with full square shoulders, the back hangs from the shoulders with a neat box effect. The trousers fit snugly over the hips and at the waist-band. They are cut amply wide. Kents are made in a large variety of fabrics which are confined exclusively to our make of clothes, among them being mixtures in brown, gray and dark shades, Scotch effects in plaids, stripes and mixtures, and a great variety of neat figures as well as plain blues and blacks; in fact, the variety is so great that any taste can be well suited."

"Outing Suit: Coat and Trousers. $10.00 to $20.00. So far as general appearances are concerned our Outing Suits are all fashioned on about the same lines, though there is considerable difference between the manner in which we line the different coats. Some of them are half-lined, others quarter-lined, while the lightest coat contains practically no lining. There is just enough in these so as to include our shape-retaining features, which make the Kuppenheimer Outing Suits different from all others. Here is a feather-weight suit which will permanently keep its shape. A great many men formerly objected to wearing a light-weight coat for the reason that it had practically no shape or style to it, for it was no more than a piece of cloth with sleeves put into it. Shape-retaining coats are different. There are more Kuppenheimer Outing Suits worn than all other makes combined for this reason, and on account of their superiority in fit and fashion."

"Outing Suit: Coat and Trousers. $10.00 to $20.00. The trousers for these suits are also radically different from other kinds. They fit snugly over the hips, and the waist-band can be adjusted so snugly by the use of side buckles that are self-supporting. The side-buckle adjustment does away with the uncomfortable bunching of cloth in the center of the back, which was objectionable in the old style. With the five belt loops attached, of which there are three in the back and two in the front, they may be worn with a belt; braces are not needed when worn either with or without a coat. They are to be had in a splendid range of handsome fabrics, most prominent among which are beautiful effects in crashes, homespuns and flannels. These shade from white to black. There is scarcely a color that is not represented. There are some very nobby effects in natural gray with combinations of green, brown, red, etc., so harmonized and blended as to please the most conservative dresser."


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