Alpha Industries is an American clothing manufacturer founded in 1959 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Initially as a contractor to the United States military, the company grew into an international commercial seller of American military style and fashion apparel.More
1959 ALPHA WINS ITS FIRST DOD CONTRACTS
Alpha Industries is awarded it’s first U.S. Department of Defense contracts to manufacture Air Force N-3B parkas and Navy shipboard shirts. This is the first real test for the fledgling apparel company.
1963 AWARDED CONTRACTS FOR MA-1 AND N-2B
Alpha Industries is awarded its first contracts for several outerwear styles, including the MA-1 jacket and N-2B parka. These military jackets become iconic in the coming years.
1965 AWARDED CONTRACT FOR THE U.S. ARMY’S M-65 FIELD COAT
Alpha receives its first contracts for the Army’s newly developed M-65 field coat. This is the beginning of Alpha receiving government contracts to produce the M-65 for the following 25 years.
1970 ALPHA ENTERS THE COMMERCIAL MARKET
To keep production lines running between government contracts, Alpha begins manufacturing small amounts of jackets for the commercial market under several different brand names, including Concord Industries and Intercon Apparel. The “3-Bar Logo” is introduced to differentiate consumer and DOD products.
1976 AWARDED CONTRACT FOR U.S. NAVY’S COLD WEATHER IMPERMEABLE JACKET
Alpha is awarded its first contract for the Navy’s Extreme Cold Weather Impermeable Jacket. This unique jacket featured a plastic foam lining designed to keep sailors afloat if they fell overboard. Alpha would continue to manufacture this jacket for the Navy through the late 1970’s/1980’s.
1980 AWARDED CONTRACT FOR CWU 36/P AND 45/P NOMEX JACKETS
The Department of Defense awards a contract to produce the CWU-36/P Nomex flight jacket. This new jacket was made of fire-resistant fabric and components. It replaced nylon flight jackets like the MA-1, which had been standard issue since the 1950s. Alpha would also go on to make a heavier version of this jacket, called the CWU-45/P, beginning in 1995.
1982 ALAN CIRKER TAKES THE HELM
Alpha’s founder, Samuel Gelber, passes away at the age of 67. His wife, Mildred Gelber, son-in-law, Alan Cirker, and business associate John Niethammer, become the leaders of the company. They begin to expand Alpha’s commercial business and build its brand image by trademarking the three bars found on Alpha’s commercial labels since the 1960’s.
1986 AWARDED CONTRACT FOR THE ECWCS PARKA
The Department of Defense awards Alpha its first contracts for the ECWCS parka. The parka is part of a new layered clothing system developed by the Natick Textile Laboratory for Army, Marine Corps and Air Force personnel. Alpha would continue to manufacture the Woodland Camouflage ECWCS parka for the military throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s.
1992 ALPHA INTRODUCES “FLYING A” LOGO
As Alpha’s presence in the consumer market continues to grow, the logo gets refreshed. The “Flying A” logo references Alpha’s military heritage as well as the three-bar labels that Alpha had become known for.
1997 THE FIRST WEBSITE
Alpha launches its first website to educate consumers on Alpha’s products and history. Customers could order select jacket styles directly from Alpha’s Knoxville factory via email.
2009 ALPHA’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY
Alpha commemorates its 50th Anniversary with a unique anniversary flight jacket and book chronicling Alpha’s history. Alpha also commissions an artist to use the MA-1 as the canvas for a series of art pieces.
2015 THE ICONIC M-65 TURNS 50
Alpha celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic M-65 Field Coat. The anniversary is commemorated with special limited-edition products and culminated in a gala event with all of Alpha’s international partners.
2019 CELEBRATING 60 YEARS
Alpha celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic M-65 Field Coat. The anniversary is commemorated with special limited-edition products and culminated in a gala event with all of Alpha’s international partners.Less