collection SC.6 - Davidow, Inc. collection, 1927-1973

Identity area

Reference code



Davidow, Inc. collection, 1927-1973


  • 1927-1973 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

38.83 linear feet of sketches, promotional materials, photographs and business records.

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

Founded in 1880 by William H. Davidow in New York City, W. H. Davidow Sons Co., Inc., and later Davidow, Inc. was one of a small group of leading American ready-to-wear manufacturers producing expensive women's clothing that sold nationwide in the better department stores and specialty shops during the first three quarters of the 20th century. The firm was known for its three-piece ensemble (coat and suit of matching or harmonizing fabrics), high quality designer reproductions, and their Daventree Sportswear line. The factory moved from 67 Bleecker Street to lower 5th Avenue and finally to 550 7th Avenue in the mid 1920's. William's sons Melville and Archibald and grandson Steven continued the business into the 1970's. Following Steven's death in 1972, the company was legally dissolved in 1976.

Archival history

Arrangement, description, and/or archival processing by May Shimizu in 2016. Updated by Vanessa Tascarella in 2020, and April Calahan and Samantha Levin in 2021, FIT, NY, NY, USA.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donation by Davidow Inc. via Ms. A. McDougal (Archie Davidow's daughter), 1973 September 10

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collections contains sketches, promotional materials, photographs and business records for the American women's coat and suit manufacturer Davidow Inc.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Collection level holds many folders with sketches. Four subsequent series levels contain documents.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and College Archives. If you have any questions, or wish to schedule an appointment contact us at or call (212) 217-4385.

Conditions governing reproduction

The Department of Special Collections and College Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Paper materials in this collection are very fragile. Handle with great care.

      Finding aids

      Generated finding aid

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      The Library of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Department of Special Collections and College Archives, 27th St. at 7th Ave., NY, NY , USA, 10001

      Existence and location of copies

      Related units of description

      Related descriptions

      Notes area

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Access points

      Subject access points

      Place access points

      Name access points

      Genre access points

      Description control area

      Description identifier

      Institution identifier

      Rules and/or conventions used



      Level of detail

      Dates of creation revision deletion


      • English


      • Latin


      Accession area