Friday, January 30, 2015

German motorcycle jacket

This vintage jacket was made in Germany in the late 1950s-early 1960s.  It is a classically German double breasted cut, with a wide collar and concentric stitching on the shoulders and elbows.  The bottom portion of the jacket is quilted.  There is a zipped breast pocket, partially under the lapel, as well as zippers on the sleeves and at the side vents, where there would be laces on an American made jacket.  The jacket appears to be made from an imitation leather product from its stamped grain pattern.  The jacket is lined in a heavy moleskin, and there are two interior pockets. The zippers are all marked with sailboats. The inside of the jacket is embossed with the maker's name, VEB, Freiberger Leder Bekleidung, which translates to Freiberger motorcycle leathers.

Imitation leather jackets go back as far as leather jackets popularity. The workmanship and detailing on this one point to it not having been a particularly inexpensive piece originally, though I'm sure it was less than the leather models,

Monday, January 26, 2015

1960s Brent half-belt jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made in the 1960s for Montgomery Ward under their Brent label.  It is a classic half-belt cossack leather jacket style, popular from the 1930s-1960s. While it is not labeled, with its heavier weight, this feels like a steerhide rather than horsehide. This one has a larger Talon zipper than earlier models, as well as a quilted nylon lining.  These are rare to find in larger sizes like this, and even rarer to find in such good condition.

This type of '60s version, with its heavier leather, simplified lines and detailing and disproportionately large zipper seems to be more in line with the "ruggedly manly" perception some people have of '30s jackets of this style who have never handled the originals.

Friday, January 23, 2015

1980s Reproduction belted leather surcoat

This leather jacket was made in the 1980s or so in the style of a 1940s fully belted leather surcoat. The belt buttons on and off like the originals (though most of them have lost their front sections).  It has a zipper front (the nylon ykk is a giveaway to an otherwise nice reproduction) and a bi-swing back.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

T.W. Stevenson leather lined mackinaw coat

This vintage mackinaw coat was made in the 1920s by the TW Stevenson Mfg. Co of Minneapolis. Stevenson was a producer of mackinaw coats and leather jackets from the late 1800s through the 1930s. The company was headquartered at 416 N. 1st Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This coat is an early-style shawl collared mackinaw. It is double breasted, belted, with patch pockets and is constructed from heavy brown mackinaw wool. The coat is fully leather lined, body and sleeves. Such leather linings were popular in the 1910s-1920s as a windproof layer in outdoor / workwear coats. Starting in the late 1920s, leather became a more a more popular material for coat exteriors, and the popularity of the position wool and leather switched. The coat has the name Walter Sternitzke written in the lining, though the coat was probably originally purchased by his father, Reinhold Sternizke, a farmer from the town of Aitkin, Minnesota.

For another leather lined shawl collar coat from this period, see here:

Monday, January 19, 2015

German Theatre-made A-2 Flight jacket

This vintage A-2 leather flight jacket was made in the 1940s, either at the end of the war or during occupation. A-2s ceased to be produced in 1943, but remained popular with servicemen, leading to a secondary market for non-contract private production. Theatre made examples like this are rare, but were commissioned by Americans who wanted a jacket that was no longer available through official channels. It is made loosely to the A-2 pattern, with a shirt style collar secured by snaps, flapped, snapped patch pockets, knit cuffs and collar, and a zipper front with a wind flap. The jacket has a one piece back and two piece sleeves. Unlike contract examples, this one has a Prym snap closure on the windflap, which takes the place of the hook and eye fastening usually found on the collar stand. The jacket has war-time German hardware, with a Zipp main zipper (with the back marked DRP, which stands for Deutschers ReichsPatent, and points to a 1945 or before dating of manufacture of the zipper). All the snaps are PRYM brand. The jacket is lined with a typically German plaid, which has been heavily worn and has been patched.