Dobbs Industries' initial work was as a subcontractor on several Department of Defense contracts making MA-1 flight jackets, N-2B parkas, and Army raincoats. In 1958, Dobbs was awarded its first U.S. government contract to manufacture Army raincoats, and contracts for raincoat liners and Air Force flight jackets and hoods soon followed. The company quickly grew and went on to lease a larger space from the Levi Strauss Company in downtown Knoxville, TN.
However, in the summer of 1959, Lane had issues with the government which led to Dobbs Industries being suspended from working on DOD contracts. Gelber was very disappointed in his partner and decided to break ties with him to start his own apparel company, Alpha Industries, Inc.