Preferred Shares
Preferred Shares Podcast
From Great Depression to Nifty Fifty: The Little Known Story About Simplicity Pattern, Part 1

From Great Depression to Nifty Fifty: The Little Known Story About Simplicity Pattern, Part 1

Welcome to Episode 2 of the Preferred Shares Podcast.

Douglas Ott, of Andvari Associates, was the primary researcher for this episode.

In this episode

  • The origin story of Simplicity Pattern - an American Dream

  • Navigating the Great Depression

  • Secular growth in at-home sewing

  • Advantages, competition, and positioning dynamics in the pattern industry

  • Managing the transition from steady to rapid growth

  • Ascent into the Nifty Fifty

  • An incredible buyout offer

Simplicity Pattern, 1964 S&P’s Stock Market Encyclopedia
Singer, 1964 S&P’s Stock Market Encyclopedia
Simplicity Pattern advertisement in Forbes, April 1961
Simplicity Pattern advertisement in Forbes, April 1960
Simplicity Pattern advertisement in Silver Screen, December 1938
Simplicity Pattern feature in Seventeen, May 1952

Resources & additional reading

Pattern Industry Analyzed, Forbes, 2/15/1946, Vol 57 p 42

Pattern for Success, TIME, 6/16/1957

Home-Sewing Booms Singer, Business Week 1948-08-14: Iss 989

James J. Shapiro Succeeds Father as Head of Simplicity, New York Times, 1949

Ad and marketing figures featuring Simplicity Pattern, New York Times, 1955

High Style Sells Patterns, Business Week 1956-02-18: Iss 1381

I was afraid to start sewing, McCall's, June 1956, p. 146-149

Catching the Customers at the Most Critical Age, Business Week 1957-10-26: Iss 1469

Simplicity Pattern IPO - 112,500 shares at $13.50, New York Times, 1958

Patterns - The Market Outlook, Forbes 1958-09-15: Vol 82 Iss 6

MODERN LIVING: Sew & Reap, TIME, 11/10/1958

Supreme Court found in favor of the FTC's findings against Simplicity, New York Times, 1959

FTC is Upheld by Supreme Court in Promotion Discrimination Case, Business Week, June 13, 1959

Court backs Simplicity, New York Times, 1962

Now the Sew‐It‐Yourself Boom, New York Times, March 8, 1964

American Can Company acquires Butterick in all-stock deal valued at $27.6 million, New York Times, 9/13/1967

Simplicity Pattern Ad, Forbes, 4/15/1968

SYP gets a takeover offer from Bristol-Myers, 1/17/1970

But merger talks ENDED with no deal!, 2/28/1970

Enjoy this episode? Share it with someone who loves business history as much as you do!

You can also follow Preferred Shares, Devin, Doug, and Lawrence on Twitter.



All opinions expressed by Preferred Shares hosts and guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinions of their respective employers. This podcast is for informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be relied upon as a basis for investment decisions. None of the information contained in the podcast or this web site constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

Clients of Andvari and Fortune Financial may maintain positions in the securities discussed in this podcast. Furthermore, from time to time, the Hosts may hold positions or other interests in securities mentioned in the Podcast and may trade for their own accounts based on the information presented. The Hosts may also take positions inconsistent with the views expressed in its messages on the Podcast.