REMEMBER THIS? Inexpensive costumes.

Dorri Partain
Northeast News

What would you like to be for Halloween?

Whether it’s an animal, an occupation, or the latest superhero, store-bought costumes are the easy choice.

As trick-or-treating became the main Halloween event to keep kids from being mischievous, two companies led the way, producing inexpensive costumes that were easy to wear.

Collegeville Costumes, of Collegeville, PA, was already producing American flags as the Collegeville Flag Manufacturing Company.

Looking for a way to use the remaining red, white, and blue fabric scraps, they began creating costumes for Santa Claus and Uncle Sam.

In 1927, they expanded the line, producing costumes for children.

The costume consisted of a sleeveless smock or coverall, screen printed with a design that matched a vacuform mask that was held in place by an elastic band.
Ben Cooper Inc. was founded in 1937 and eventually became the largest manufacturer of Halloween costumes.

Founder Ben Cooper, Sr. started as a costume designer for Harlem’s Cotton Club and the Ziegfield Follies.

He purchased the assets of A.S. Fishbach, Inc., a company that already had the licensing rights to produce Walt Disney character costumes.

Cooper continued to license popular characters, including the debut of Spiderman in 1963 and Batman in 1964, when the popular television program debuted.

Ben Cooper was the first costume company to obtain the licensing rights for the Star Wars characters in 1977.

Despite their popularity, all the costume companies took a financial blow following the Tylenol poisoning scare in September 1982. Parents were afraid of tainted candy and kept their children from trick-or-treating that year.

Additionally, the ill-fitting masks finally came under scrutiny for reducing visibility, and other styles became more popular.

Collegeville Costumes shuttered in 1996, following the shutdown of Ben Cooper in 1992.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • REMEMBER THIS? Foam Fingers

    June 30th, 2020

    Dorri Partain Contributor We’re #1! The oversized foam finger that appears at sporting events across the country started as a […]

    Cincinnati’s Legendary Riverfront Stadium

    June 30th, 2020

    Michael Bushnell Publisher One of the “cookie-cutter” stadiums built in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium was […]

    Remember This? When Major League Baseball was postponed or cancelled

    June 17th, 2020

    Dorri Partain Contributor Several historic events have led to the cancellation of Major League Baseball (MLB) games: the escalation of […]

    The Eucker Seats!

    June 17th, 2020

    Michael Bushnell Publisher “So long old friend, and good night everybody.” The classic sign-off by legendary Milwaukee Brewers radio announcer […]

    Remember This? Mini baseball hats

    June 10th, 2020

    Dorri Partain Contributor Whether your batting helmet is filled with ice cream or came from a vending “gumball” machine, these […]

  • Candlestick Park in San Francisco

    June 10th, 2020

    Michael Bushnell Publisher Candlestick Park Stadium was built in San Francisco’s Bayview Heights area on what was known as Candlestick […]

    Shea Stadium in New York

    June 3rd, 2020

    Michael Bushnell Publisher As we continue our chronicling of lost ballyards, no list is complete without Shea Stadium, home of […]

    Remember This: Hotel Matchbooks

    June 3rd, 2020

    Dorri Partain Contributor In 1961, San Francisco Giants owner Horace Stoneham unveiled his grand vision of the ultimate spring training […]

    Many teams played at Polo Grounds

    May 27th, 2020

    Michael Bushnell Publisher This week we continue our tour of baseball stadiums now long forgotten. The Polo Grounds was the […]

    Remember This? Cracker Jack prizes

    May 27th, 2020

    Dorri Partain Contributor Candy-coated popcorn, peanuts, and a prize- that’s what you get with Cracker Jack! This tasty snack was […]

  • Faces Of Northeast

  • Remember This?

  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.