Due to their highly recognizable shape, and want for a better name, the word “T-shirt” was coined, and as the word found its place in the cultural lexicon, people across the world began to adopt the new and more comfortable alternative to the union shirt. A handful of American experts claim that the name was coined in 1932 when Howard Jones commissioned “Jockey” to design a new sweat absorbing shirt for the USC Trojans football team. However the US army contests the origins of the word come from army training shirts, being the military it was not long before practicality ensured the abbreviation. There is one alternative theory, little known and rather graphic in its interpretation. Essentially the idea that shortened-length arms were described as akin to the shape of an amputees torso, a common sight in the bloodier battles of the past, though this speculation cannot be verified, the idea has a gory ring of truth about it. During World War II the T-shirt was finally issued as standard underwear for all ranks in both the U.S. Army and the Navy. Although the T-shirt was intended as underwear, soldiers performing strenuous battle games or construction work, and especially those based in warmer climes would often wear an uncovered T-shirt. On July the 13th, 1942, the cover story for Life magazine features a photo of a soldier wearing a T-shirt with the text “Air Corps Gunnery School”. T shirt
In the first few years after World War Two, the European fashion for wearing T-shirts as an outer garment, inspired mainly by new US army uniforms, spread to the civilian population of America. In 1948 the New York Times reported a new and unique marketing tool for that year’s campaign for New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. It was the first recorded “slogan T-Shirt”, the message read “Dew It for Dewey”, closely repeated by the more famous “I Like Ike” T-shirts in Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential campaign.
In the early 1950s enterprising companies based in Miami, Florida, began to decorate tee shirts with Floridian resort names and even cartoon characters. The first recorded graphic t-shirt catalogue was created by Tropix Togs, by its creator and founder, Miami entrepreneur Sam Kantor. They were the original licensee for Walt Disney characters that included Mickey Mouse and Davy Crockett. Later other companies expanded into the tee shirt printing business that included Sherry Manufacturing Company also based in Miami.