The Cleveland Nathansons and Lyon Tailors


After arriving in America in the late 1800's, the family spent a short time on the East Coast. Max J. Nathanson then moved his family to the Pittsburg, PA, area.  No record exists where the other two siblings, Ralph and Anne, were born.  Louis was born in Beaver Falls, PA in October,1903. Max J. started Douglas Tailors.  He then moved Douglas Tailors to Cleveland, Ohio, where it eventually became Lyon Tailors.  With his children Ralph, Louis and Anne (who later married and moved to Miami, FL), the company prospered and grew.  The pictures below show some of the folks that were involved in the manufacturing of clothing and the conditions they worked under.

This is where it all came together, on the third floor of the factory. Click on each picture for a larger view. Click the blue arrow in the top left of your screen to return to normal size.

All the clothing was sewn together, steam pressed and inspected prior to shipment.

Most of the labor was supplied by European immigrants who had prior experience in garment manufacturing.

The business prospered as the dynamics of the family changed.  In Feb, 1935, Max J's wife, Laura, passed away and in 1939 Max J passed away.  No picture of Ann, the daughter, is available.  Under the leadership of Ralph and Louis, Lyon Tailors expanded to new digs as shown below.

This is the newspaper clipping of Lyon leasing the factory ar 2320 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH. Click this graphic twice to be able to read the article.

The front of the official announcement proclaiming the grand opening of the Sales Room at 2320 Superior Ave.

The inside of the announcement.

The main Sales Room about 1940.

Another view.

Still another view.

Max J and Laura

Ralph Narhanson

Louis Narhanson

From the twenties into the forties, Lyon Tailors sponsored successful AAA baseball teams.  They were quite popular with the Cleveland fans and during World War II Lyon donated  cigarettes to our naval forces.

Lyon Tailors ad circa 1945.

Smokes to the Navy

Lyon Tailors continued to flourish by branching out.  A wholesale division was started named K-D Tailoring which manufactured suits and other apparel for small tailoring shops around the country.  The Airwear division manufactured uniforms for airlines.  At its apex, Airwear was the largest manufacturer of airline uniforms in the world.  Lyon Tailors continued in business until it was sold to H.M. Borne Co., in 1968.  Max J's oldest son, Ralph, had already passed away and his two children, Warren and Bobby, have faded with time.  Louis moved to Miami Beach, FL, where he died in September, 1975.  Allen and Buddy (Norman), Louis' oldest children have passed and my memory also clouds with the passage of time.  I am the last of the Cleveland Nathansons.  My name:  Max J., of course.  My oldest daughter is Laura, of course.  The Lord never saw fit to bless me with a son so, when I pass the era of the Cleveland Nathansons will be over. 

Allen, Buddy (Norman), Louis and Me (Max J) about 1963

Louis, three months prior to his death, June 1975.

Tribute to the tailors of the world. They silently did their jobs to keep us in clothes.