This popular 1950s-era giveaway might not attract quite as much attention today as it did when it was new but it’s still cool. Dress codes have since changed since then and more people are working from home, especially with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. An asset to any mid-twentieth century professional’s wardrobe, this ready-to-go colored casual hanky made dressing a breeze. The cotton pre-pleated handkerchief was designed to easily slip into any suit and formal or sport coat pocket. According to the advertising text on the paper package envelope, the best look came when the color of tie choice blended with the handkerchief. Ties were apparently required garb.
The handkerchief was given away as a promotional item by Lik-Nu Cleaners of Little Falls, Minnesota. Operating in the downtown area for several decades starting in the early 1930s, the store is the current site of the Lik-Nu Gun and Pawn Shop (118 1st Street Northeast). The hanky was manufactured by the Old Hickory Manufacturing Company of Old Hickory, Tennessee. The company was a supplier of laundry equipment and supplies and took the name of the area where it was located. Old Hickory was named in honor of President Andrew Jackson, who was nicknamed “Old Hickory.”
~Ann Marie Johnson, Preservationist