Series Zero: Smugtown


Turn of the century Rochester was a bustling scene of casual millionaires, industrialists, high society, and easy money. The Rochester elite, and those who sought to join them, flaunted prosperity and wealth, shrugging off prohibition and The Great Depression as mere speed humps to their personal financial and social goals. We were all at the great bosom of the Yellow Box Company, who's stock continued to rise, split, and rise again.

Journalist Curt Gerling witnessed and wrote about all of this in his book: Smugtown, USA. From the early 1900s to the 1950s, the route was clear for which Rochesterians learned to join the elite ranks of Upper Class snobbery. Joining the right country club, getting in the right newspaper, being seen at the right social event, kissing the right ass, picking the right profession, all in the hopes of achieving the success of being a "somebody." Of course all of this was a fragile house of cards, but I imagine it appeared sound at the time and, well, some people are desperate.

Gerling's anecdotal approach is refreshing and blunt, seemingly critical but also endearing. Each page is filled with familiar places and people, with unfamiliar and new angles on which to view them. His love for the city is ever apparent, and his newly coined nickname for our fine city would make any Rochester native smirk with amusement.

The Smugtown USA shirt portrays a rather confident, some might say smug, gentleman in 1940s attire, ready to take on the world and climb the social and economic ladders of his day. The colors of the shirt, quite fittingly, represent the great titan of industry for which most Rochesterians sourced that unabashed pride and confidence.

Unisex Cut:
Shirt Color: Red
Shirt Type: 50/50 Poly-Cotton Athletic Fit T-Shirt