|Abstract||The Nelly Don Collection contains 35 black and white photographic prints donated to the Missouri Valley Special Collections in August 2001. The donor's aunt had been an employee of the Donnelly Garment Company and had collected these photographs. Few of the individuals in the photographs are identified, and many images are not dated. The photographs largely consist of Donnelly Garment Company employee group portraits on holiday and otherwise festive occasions.|
Nell Donnelly Reed was born Ellen Quinlan in Parsons, Kansas, 1889, and moved to Kansas City in 1906. She began designing and sewing her own housedresses, several of which she offered for sale to the George B. Peck Dry Goods Company in 1916. By 1931 she owned the Donnelly Garment Company, which manufactured the widely known "Nelly Don" line of women's apparel. Reed retired in 1956, and the organization's name was changed to Nelly Don, Inc. The company evolved throughout the 1960s and 70s, although the changing economic climate of the nation eventually brought its demise. The selling of fabrics was a sustaining innovation of the 1970s, but Nelly Don, Inc., filed for Chapter 10 bankruptcy in 1978.