Lion Apparel, Dayton, Ohio, recently celebrated its 100th anniversary, serving as one of the
world’s largest maker of firefighter protective gear and a significant manufacturer of commercial
and government uniforms.
Lion was founded in 1898 by William Lapedes, who used a wagon pulled by two retired fire
horses to make deliveries and call on customers in Dayton and communities to the north.
Today, the company sells fire gear to both domestic and international fire department
customers. Its commercial uniform customers include large businesses and government agencies,
pilots and cargo handlers at major airlines and customer-contact employees from a host of
retail-oriented service companies.
“Reaching the centennial milestone testifies to Lion’s culture and our ability to continually
adapt and innovate in response to business needs,” said Richard Lapedes, president of Lion and
grandson of William Lapedes.