“A Story of American Achievement”: ARROW’s Enterprise Documentary

In 1948, Cluett, Peabody & Co., Inc. (owners of the ARROW brand) debuted Enterprise, a half-hour film about the establishment of a new ARROW factory in the small, struggling town of Buchanan, Georgia. Two young World War II veterans spearheaded an investment plan to build a new factory building, pooling funds and the pledge of work from their community. Where other companies passed on leasing the factory, Cluett signed on, giving employment preference to other Buchanan veterans alongside a sizeable female workforce.

The town quickly prospered, and Cluett was moved to produce a documentary film, casting town locals in re-enacted segments. Schools and civic groups could receive a free copy, and several major networks broadcasted a radio version of the documentary.

In November 1949, Cluett was awarded a Freedoms Foundation award, presented by General Dwight D. Eisenhower (who was elected U.S. President three years later), for the film’s inspiring vision of free enterprise and cooperative effort. While the film’s economic ideology is very much tied to prevalent political sentiment of the period, many aspects, such as its recognition of the contributions of veteran and women workers, still resonate today.