Durabil, Duck Canvas and Brand Identity

A while back I wrote about Durabil jackets and this beautiful 1918 model leather jacket with its incredible primitive design. I often ask myself why I blog, and more and more I'm realizing it is about my interest even obsession with history. The history of 20th century fashion is completely misrepresented by the media and even the people who often love it best. The story of 20th century clothing is the very story of Canadian and American immigration and the rise of North America as global superpower. Not just that story but the story of developing industrialism, and the secret kabals of Jewish immigrants and their rise in the formerly British and American dominated clothing trade.

Grant, Holden, Graham Ltd was an early transcontinental company based in Vancouver and Ottawa, that traversed the railroad servicing adventurers on both sides of North America. Like an early Colemans, the company specialized in Duck Canvas. Their catalog included everything from tents and early tent car conversions, to sails, awnings, hot air balloons, bags, and any other need or item manufactured from duck canvass. And following the theme of the adventurer, they added to their line camp stoves, sleeping bags, outdoor adventure gear, and the Durabil leather jacket. These were software added to their main line. It is amazing to see how early industrial brands defined themselves!


  1. Incredible jacket! Have you lent it out for design? I think RRL did a repro of that very same jacket (it may have been a hair longer) about 2-2.5 years ago. I just want to eat it! (too weird?)

  2. Nah, there is nothing to weird. Its a very interesting period, this company was like many of the early anglo companies of the day, a huge walmartesque megopoly that made everything, with no really clean idea of their brand identity. Im pretty sure that companies like this one helped immigrants start their own smaller shops by contracting out their expansion into clothing. Hard to research but we will see. Reproduction often doesnt capture the spirit of a particular piece. Sometimes the spirit needs some massage.

  3. Yesterday, I was going through some modern designs on Canvas Art and I found amazing collection.

  4. Great article. I'm enjoying your blog.

  5. I visit your website, which I admit that it is very interesting.
    Living in Greece and want to buy an authentic Buco J-100 jacket, size 44 and larger.
    I am sure you can help me in my search.
    I await your message.

  6. Incredible jacket! Good post. keep blogging....


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