Seely Shoulder Shapes, 265 W. 40th St. between 7th & 8th Aves. (1986)

Seely Shoulder Shapes were originally Seely Novelty Corp., incorporated 1941. This ad for the Seely Novelty Corp. shoulder pads appeared in Women's Wear Daily in 1943. They were located in this building at 263-267 W. 40th St. from 1942 until 1955/56. They were listed as Seely Shoulder Pad Corp. in the 1945 telephone directory.

There was also a division of Seely called Formetics, Inc., that manufactured foundations for women's brassiers. These were trademarked as Bustees. An ad for Bustees appeared in Women's Wear Daily in 1947.

In 1948 Seely expanded its facilities at 256 W. 40th St., as reported in Women's Wear Daily, 27 April 1948, pg. 22, "New production facilities in the form of a 10,000 square foot plant were formally placed in operation by the Seely Shoulder Pad Corp. The new plant is located in the same building as the Seely showroom at 265 West 40th street where the plant has grown in space from 1,000 to 30,000 square feet in the past six years. Modern die cutting presses, automatic cloth stretching machines, new sewing and heat sealing equipment has been installed in a mass production setup. Production capacity of the firm will be increased to 2 million pairs of shoulder pads per month with the addition of the new plant, according to Irving Rothenberg and Simon R. Kagan, principals. The firm has two other plants in operation, one on Long Island and one in Harlem."

The Manhattan telephone directory listed Seely as Seely Shoulder Shape Inc. only in 1954 and 1955. Did Artkraft-Strauss create this beautiful sign at that time? As of April 2003 the sign was still there, a bit faded but still very striking... The building was demolished ca. 2004 to make way for the new New York Times Building, at the west end of the block at 8th Ave., 40th St. to 41st St., that opened in 2007.

President of Seely Novelty Corp., Seely Shoulder Pad Corp., etc. was Simon Robert Kagan (1915-1978). He was recorded in the 1940 U. S. Census, age 24, born Russia, living at 1750 Grand Concourse, near 174th St., the Bronx.

In August 1956 it was announced in the New York Herald Tribune , "Notice is hereby given that 50 shares of Capital Stock of Seely Shoulder Pad Corp., a New York corporation (par value $100 per share), and 100 shares of Common Stock of Seely Shoulder Shapes, Inc., a New York corporation (par value $1, per share), will be sold ... at public auction, on August 30, 1956 ... Said shares of stock are owned by Simon Kagan of 11 Harvard Avenue, Yonkers, New York... Each corporation is in the business of manufacturing women's shoulder pads which are sold to manufacturers of women's dresses and suits and to retail outlets. Each of said corporation is believed to be insolvent..."

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