In October, 1959, more than 50 years ago, Alpha Industries began its operations making military clothing in the basement of a rented Knoxville, Tennessee factory using leased sewing machines and only a few employees. The first few years were very difficult for newly formed Alpha because it was a time of peace and the U.S. Defense Department purchased only small quantities of military clothing. However, the outstanding quality of Alpha’s clothing quickly came to the Defense Department’s attention and as America’s need for military clothing increased as the Vietnam conflict deepened, Alpha’s growth as a manufacturer for the Defense Department rapidly accelerated.
Alpha specialized in manufacturing many types of jackets and pants for U.S. military forces. As the years went by America’s Defense Forces came to rely more and more on Alpha’s expertise to produce U.S. Air Force and Naval Aviation flight jackets, Army and Marine Corps field jackets and a host of military pants and other clothing. During this time Alpha manufactured over 40 million garments for the U.S. military ranging from simple hoods to complicated cold weather Gore-Tex parkas.