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On March 3, 1902, Russell Athletic was founded by 26-year-old Benjamin Russell as the Russell Manufacturing Company in Alexander City, AL. The tiny factory had 10 sewing machines and 8 knitting machines. Russell Manufacturing Company‚€™s first garment was a women and children‚€™s knit shirt. Benjamin Russell‚€™s passion for sports and his entrepreneurial spirit fueled civic pride creating jobs for his community, while later making uniforms for teams and apparel for athletes throughout the United States. By the 1960s, Russell Manufacturing Company's athletic division had become the largest manufacturer of sports apparel and uniforms in the United States. In 1962, Russell Manufacturing Company changed its name to Russell Mills, Inc. and began using the American Eagle to represent its iconic brand image. In 1973, Russell Mills, Inc. name was changed to Russell Corporation and expanded manufacturing across Southern USA as well as to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Scotland. In 2006, Fruit of the Loom acquires Russell Corp, which becomes Russell Brands, LLC.

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