“In 1956, Penn-Mor Manufacturing Corporation, a subsidiary of Walter W. Moyer Company, Inc., of Ephrata, Pennsylvania, announced that it would open a factory in Tempe. A 37,000-square foot plant was built on a ten-acre site at 1501 South Rural Road by local contractor Cliff Seibert. It started operation in February 1957 with 20 employees under the direction of general manager Rowland G. Oonk. The company manufactured women’s, girls’, and infants’ underwear, including some styles made from Pima cotton. Four additions to the factory were built through the early 1960s. By 1969, the plant had a total of almost 80,000 square feet and employed 400 people in sewing, packaging, and shipping.” – Arizona Republic, 26 Apr 1964
Eighties and Nineties:
Behind the Penn-Mor Factory was an amazing loading dock, lovingly called Underwear Banks that was pretty much built for skateboarding and was a staple spot through my formative years that lasted into the ’00’s. Super rough but super fun the banks inclined down and each side got ‘deeper’ towards the building. Many, many heavy sessions went down at UB. There was always garbage around to make props and the cops hardly ever busted us there. Lot’s of gritty fond memories. I learned how to ollie into a bank there because there was a one or two inch lip on the banks that would turn your limbs into fresh meat if missed.
These are some long lost and recently found photos (yes actual film on paper) of my former roommate and brother from another mother, Felix ‘the Tat’ Epperson doin’ what he does best: Flow on a skateboard dripping style at the Underwear Banks in 1990! Felix just turned 50 and is still ripping at his local park in Eugene, Oregon. This is my present to him. It just so happens that tomorrow I will be starting a new full-time job. My new shop is located exactly on where the Underwear Banks once resided in the ASU University Services Building that now occupies the location of Penn-Mor.
Got any rad photos from Underwear Banks? We would love to see and share them! Hit me up: firstname.lastname@example.org.