Lee Brand History


Henry David Lee started, H.D. Lee Merchantile Co. as a wholesale grocer back in 1889. It wasn't until 1911, due to unreliable shipments of their supplies, they decided to take a different direction and produce workwear.


In the first manufacturing for H.D. Lee Merchantile Co, were the now-famous vintage Lee Bib Overall. These overalls were made of 8 oz. denim and had a multifunctional breast pocket with a button fly


In 1913, the“coverall” was developed which combined the jacket with a bib overall being stitched together. This garment was called "Union-All" and Lee Union-All (Coverall) was created. 


The "Union-All" was commissioned by the U.S. Army and was the official fatigue uniform during World War I. Later the words “UNION MADE” were included with the Lee Brand Name on many of its labels.


In 1926 Lee introduced slide adjusters on the bib overall straps to offer a better fit for the wearer.


See "Lee Railroad Jacket" to continue the history of the Lee brand.