Since publication of my three-part series on Early North American Knitting Needle Gauges in 2013, three significant new gauges have been found.
The first is a red variation on the aluminium “J-curve” gauge used by Boye, Ezy-Knit, Sears and others, often unbranded in the 1950s / 1960s (date uncertain). It is a common shape on re-seller sites like EBay, usually coloured in gold (Sears), blue (Boye) or silver (Boye, Ezy-Knit, and unbranded).
This single example of the unusual red colour has the brand name Diana, which was the discount brand of the Boye Needle Co. As the blue or silver Boye J-curves are so common, it seems the firm must have ordered this gauge for their “poor relation” brand only once. Packaging for the Diana brand was quite distinct from that of Boye in the 1950s and ‘60s. But the firm never bothered to brand the needles themselves. All the examples I have of Diana packaging contain needles with the Boye name, or no brand name at all, on the needles.
In the 1950s and 1960s the rival firms Boye Needle Co and Susan Bates & Co used a similar strategy of diversification down market to try to capture more sales through discount retailers, without diluting the “premium” of their main brand names. Diana was the Boye discount brand, and Marcia Lynn was the main Bates discount brand. Both are no more, of course.