In 1910 a fellow law student of John Blair asked him if he’d like to help sell raincoats. (His friend had just inherited a raincoat factory.) After being asked by an undertaker if he had any attractive black raincoats, Blair had an idea. John asked his friend to produce stylish black raincoats with wool fabric adhered to the outside, and plaid fabric on the inside, taking advantage of the relatively new process of rubber vulcanization. Starting with 1200 raincoats, they quickly sold out.
John’s father and siblings helped him mail out 10,000 letters to undertakers across America. He then sent letters to ministers and businessmen, and also expanded his product line. This was the start of the Blair catalog, although it wasn’t called Blair catalog at the time. At first the company was called New Process Rubber Company. By 1916 it was changed to New Process Company. In 1989 the name of the company was changed to Blair.
Today, Blair still offers exceptional clothing for men and women and now also sells quality items for the home, such as comforters, blankets, drapes, pillows, rugs, kitchen items and more. On their website you can flip through the virtual Blair Catalog to get an experience much like flipping through the print version.