Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Princess Peggy

While looking around Pinterest, I found this vintage ad for Princess Peggy, Inc., and a little lightbulb lit up over my head.  I was certain I could remember that there was a Princess Peggy factory in Chillicothe, Illinois, which was just three miles from Rome where I grew up.  I can even kind of remember where it was - or about where it was - and it seems to me it was some distance south of the public library on Second Street.  Later, when I was in high school in Chillicothe, I am sure it had been turned into a roller rink.  It also is strong in my mind that my late husband's Aunt Ethel worked at Princess Peggy.  That would have been when he was maybe in grade school.   On the ad above, I saw that "Peoria, Ill." was  listed as the location of Princess Peggy.

So, I googled it. 
I found this old postcard of the Chic Manufacturing Company and an article about Princess Peggy.  But more interesting to me was one of the comments which follows:

Sandie Says:

I have a 1990 issue of Quilt Magazine. There is an interesting article on Princess Peggy Dress Factory in this issue, which is how I discovered this blog, when I googled Princess Peggy Dress Factory.
Here are a few more items of interest about Princess Peggy Dress Factory in the article :
The idea for the factory began in 1906, when the industry was started as the Chic Apron Company……located on the third floor of a building on S. Adams Street in Peoria.
There were two more plants, located in Chillicothe & Belleville, IL.
Princess Peggy was personified by a succession of attractive young blonde girls whose picture appeared before millions of newspaper readers every month.
If anyone would like a copy of the complete article, email me at
Looking at more of the entires as I googled, I found the following:


Princess Peggy

A few weeks ago while visiting my girlfriend Evi....
she gave me three adorable tiny dresses.

They are not doll dresses, but salesman's samples of actual dresses made by the Princess Peggy Clothing Company.

Posted 6 months, 12 days ago
(179 items)
The Princess Peggy manikin was used to display salesman samples of the Princess Peggy Clothes line in 1940 to 5o's. The clothes had her face in label on salesman dress's minature size for manikin and on adult clothes. Her dress's seem to have that house dress look or everyday wear for ladies of the day . This Manikin belongs to Ivydi not me . The pin on the dress is for 5 years of service .

These little manikins were about 24" tall.  

Labels for the Princess Peggy frocks.

When I was a little girl and all through my adolescence, women did not wear jeans or slacks or shorts working around the house.  My mom never had a pair of slacks in her life.  Housedresses were the uniform of the day for homemakers!   They  wore  aprons when cooking or doing other housework that might soil their dresses.  The wearing of pants by woman for all occasions got rolling in the 70's while I was working at Hesston Corporation in Kansas.  Pants suits came into fashion and now lots of us never wear dresses anymore.    My, how times have changed! 

I am also going to let this post count for Postcard Friendship Friday!  There is a postcard on it way back at the beginning.  So a tip of the hat to Beth, at 
for hosting.  


  1. This whole post is so much fun! While I don't remember Princess Peggy, I do remember all the ads that my mother used to clip from the paper. She would write away for dress and quilts patterns and recipe books. The ad for the Princess Peggy Pop-On reminds me of those days. Happy PFF!

  2. And a tip of the hat back to you! I LOVED this post. All this wonderful history and information. Thank you so much. I have to say--I enjoyed every picture, every word, with RELISH!

    Happy PFF!

  3. I'm one who hardly ever wears a dress or skirt. Let's face it, pants are so much more convenient, but I have to say these dresses are so pretty! I could almost be tempted back into one.

    Happy PFF!

  4. Sweet dresses, and can you imagine how collectible those salesman sample dresses are. Some of the fabric in these dresses may have ended up in the quilts of the time!

  5. Oooh.... I love these tiny dresses. Any chance you'd sell one (or all) of them? The mannekin sort of gives me the creeps, to be totally honest (sorry!), but I just adore the dresses.

  6. Our Mom was pictured with the doll in front of the display for a magazine ad. We found the doll in pieces but all the clothes when cleaning out her home. Amazing!

  7. Love this! My grandma worked at the factory in Peoria and I often wonder if a lot of her fabric scraps came from her days working there. She had a lot of scraps!!!

  8. My Mom worked for the company reps in Chicago right after WWII. She said it was such a fun gang! She was a secretary and jack of all trades in the office. The typewriter she used had a little crown instead of the dot over the lowercase I.

  9. Thank you for posting this. I included some information about the factory locations and employee count:

  10. When I was a child my grandmother worked as a dress buyer for a department store called Stone & Thomas in Wheeling, West Virginia. She made trips to NYC to visit the manufacturers. She sold this line of dresses in her department, and eventually gave me and my sisters 13 of these little Princess Peggy dresses, which I still have. My sisters and I did play with them a bit, but because we didn't have the mannekin there wasn't much to do with them! So they are still in good shape and I have them if anyone is interested. I'd be willing to sell them. I've taken pictures of each one.

    1. Hi Christina, your comment is just over a year old but I just found it today. In the remote chance you still have the dresses, if they are still for sale, how many have you and how much are they? Thanks Peggy Canale