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One summer day in 1946, Joseph Haspel, Sr. walked neck deep into the Atlantic Ocean wearing one of his family’s seersucker suits. He emerged from the ocean a part of clothing lore.

Haspel was attending a convention in Boca Raton, Florida, when he took his now famous dip into the sea. Afterwards he hung his suit over his hotel room tub to drip dry. Later that evening, those who had seen him in his unrthodox bathing attire were equally surprised to see him wearing the same suit, and his act was the hit of the Middle South Utilities Inc. banquet.

The seaside plunge, alas, was no personal idiosyncrasy. There was a practical reason for it, namely to demonstrate Haspel’s new easy-care cotton and Orlon suit.

Many readers have likely heard some version of this twice-told tale. We contacted Haspel to ask if it were true, and they were happy to provide this photo documentation. — CHRISTOPHER SHARP

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