In 1876, Samuel Thrall Cooper founded S.T. Cooper & Sons, the predecessor of Jockey International, Inc. Samuel Cooper started his hosiery business in St. Joseph, Michigan to help lumberjacks who were suffering from their poor quality socks…laying Jockey's foundation for "Satisfying the Human Need for Comfort."
By 1878, S.T. Cooper & Sons was producing nearly 2,500 pairs of seamless stockings each day. Over the next 25 years, Cooper's sons (Charles, Henry and Willis) became skilled in the business. In 1897, they introduced the Black Cat brand of hosiery for men, women & children, and in 1898, the brothers moved the company and eventually moved the company into an ambitious new direction…Men's Underwear.