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Nelly Don

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Title: Nelly Don  
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Subject: House dress, Companies based in Missouri
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Nelly Don

Two Nelly Don apron dresses,1922
Nelly Don logo, 1921

Nelly Don Inc. was a clothing manufacturer and distributor from 1956 to 1978. It was founded by Nell Donnelly Reed in 1919 as the Donnelly Garment Company and was renamed to Nelly Don after the founder retired and sold her interest in the company.[1]

The company was headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri and had additional factories in that state. During World War II it made uniforms for women in the military and factories, and underwear for men in the military.

Nelly Don manufactured 75 million dresses from 1916 to 1978 making it the largest dress manufacturer of the 20th century. They were one of the first companies to apply assembly line techniques to clothing manufacturing. It was reported that she only had to dismiss one employee in the entire history of the company.

A documentary film was made about this company titled Nelly Don: A Stitch in Time.


  1. ^ Donnelly Biography at State Historical Society of Missouri, Retrieved June 28, 2015

External links

  • Documentary website
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