As Dorcus wrote in his autobiography, Will Someone Open a Goddamn Window? he was just another Manhattan cheap-suit seller operating from a small store near Little Italy, until he hit on his first great idea.
“I was dyin’. No one came to the store. I couldn’t blame ‘em. Jeez, I had the odor somethin’ bad. I had to leave the store and rub my face against a horse just to get my own stink out of my nostrils. But one day I see this ad in the paper: the government’s selling war surplus. They’d developed a lightweight fabric for gas masks, you know, for World War One. Well, there hadn’t been any gas wars lately, so they were sellin’ it off. I figure, if it keeps gas out, it can keep gas in. I made a bid. Spent every cent I had, and turned the fabric into suits. I called the fabric SWETZ-ALOT, because I figure guys who, you know, sweat a lot, would be attracted by the name. In retrospect SWET-NO-MOR would’ve been a better name, but I found out a place in Chicago trademarked that for something they called ‘deodorant.’ Whatever that was.”
A series of ads in the popular pressmade Dorcus’ store an instant success.