Amelia Earhart Flight Jacket Reproduction - The Aviatrix

Discussion in 'Reproduction manufacturers' started by Skyhawk, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    This is true but the proper zipper and label do finish off the details of the jacket and make it more authentic. Important for people who are not "Dumbed down public" as you say.

    I appreciate the desire to see photos of the process. There are no production photos to show at this time. We haven't even cut the leather for the test jacket yet. As I said, no point in making up a test jacket until I have all the pieces. We don't start on jackets and leave them incomplete for months while waiting on parts. It's just not the way we work and is not a good MFG practice IMO.

    It is a waste of materials and time to make up a test jacket that would basically be incomplete and not accurate. The jacket would be a throw away exploratory jacket, probably not sellable, and I could not even take detail photos to use because the details would be incorrect. I would just have to make another one to install the proper parts.

    It is a long process, making a new pattern and building a jacket. As a MFG I have to weigh out my options of how to create the jacket and get it into production as cost effectively as possible. The fewer test jackets the better because the knits, liners, leather, and labor all cost money. It is just not cost effective to make up 2 or 3 test jackets when you can wait and just make 1 complete one. Hopefully you learn what you need to from the 1st test jacket, and make the necessary changes to move it into production. Hopefully your first production jacket is correct and doesn't wind up being your 2nd test jacket, but it happens.

    I will post more photos when they become available.

    All The Best,
    Jay
     
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  2. bseal

    bseal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,771
    Location:
    Benicia, CA
    Question or two pertaining the Headwind label that has required numerous revisions:

    If the actual flight jacket either crash landed or was captured by the Japanese with its wearer, what accurate reproduction label are you in the process of creating? And how did you obtain an original to copy?
     
  3. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    QUOTE [These jackets are reproductions of civilian flight jackets from a prolific flight gear maker in the 1920-30s.] QUOTE

    So who would that be and do you have a period catalog page of the AE jacket that you are using as a build guide . How sure are you that this jacket she wore was from said prolific maker . Remember she was a wealthy person who could afford to have her clothes custom made , it could be a one off that she wore .This was not uncommon in the explorer days companies making clothes for safaris ,artic adventures , flying, fishing ,etc etc . Even in the military officers had there uniforms custom made by bespoke tailors this was matter of fact . I really do not see this woman buying from a retail store ,and how many women were buying flying clothes men certainly were .So if she wanted a jacket its conceivable it was custom made because it was not available ,even the men's market would have been a very small niche market for the adventurous rich .

    BIP
     
  4. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    Now that is a great question!

    So how do you figure out who made the jacket and what label was inside, when the jacket is missing and only one was made?

    You hit the history books and internet and find out who was making similar jackets at the time. Then out of those companies you narrow it down to who was supplying her and the other aviation explorers with equipment for their flights.

    I arrived at two possibilities. AG Spalding & Bros. was a prolific supplier of aviation equipment and clothing at the time. They also outfitted Lindbergh and Admiral Bird on their historic flights. Spalding had a few similar model jackets so it is certainly a good possibility that the maker was A.G. Spalding & Bros.

    Original: Repro:
    Spalding Label 3a.jpg Final-sample3a.jpg
    This label has been a huge challenge to get right. We are close but you can see that there are missing areas circled in red.

    The other possible company is Air Associates Inc. Also a big supplier of flight gear and jackets at the time. Air Assoc. is actually documented to have supplied Earhart with flight gear as stated by Lehman Bros. in the Harvard School Of Business archives:
    https://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/lehman/company.html?company=air_associates_inc

    With this evidence and the fact that Air Assoc. made similar jackets at the time, I am leaning toward an Air Assoc. label.
    It's not that simple though because Air Associates had at least 3 different labels between the late 20's and 40's. So some further research was required and I found that from 1928 - the mid 30's Air Assoc. expanded from just the home base in Long Island NY to branches in NY, CA, and IL. So this would be the correct label for the time period:

    Original: Repro:
    AAI-b.jpg AAI-Final.jpg
    This one is pretty simple to recreate except for the stitching style on the text. The label Co says that the style can be replicated when the label goes into production, so it does not show up in the design mockup, but it will be stitched that way when it is woven.

    So there you have it. A bit of an inside look at our label process and how we arrived at which label to use. I am making up both labels and they will also be used in some other upcoming projects that I am very excited to complete!

    All The Best,
    Jay
     
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  5. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    ae-blouse-1024x726.jpg ae-blouse-1024x726.jpg

    This is a label she designed for fashion collection in the 1930s which did not succeed ,it was to raise funds to help pay for her flying .Also one of her other jackets still exists in the Buffalo Bill museum .Here is the link
    https://centerofthewest.org/2014/03/17/plane-vanished-flight-jacket-didnt/
    May be an email to them asking who the maker is would help .

    BIP
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    untitleAELEATHER.png Her other jacket is in the National Air and Space Museum ,perhaps they can tell you the make of the jacket .This may lead us to to think she had a special fondness for a certain maker .

    BIP
     
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  7. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

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    409
    Her designs incorporated features linking the products to flying ,like ball bearing buttons and airplane buttons on jackets . Even her label had a red plane soaring up into the sky .

    BIP
     
  8. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    321
    Cool stuff! I knew about her clothing line. The cloth jackets and dresses. I had seen the A&S museum jacket, actually in person, but the other one I hadn't seen yet. It appears the two museum jackets are similar to each other but they don't really resemble the jacket I am reproducing. Her jacket that was lost resembled offerings from A.G. Spalding and Air Associates at the time much more than the museum jackets do. Also with the confirmed fact that she was already getting gear from Air Associates who made jackets, helmets, gloves, etc. It's a pretty good chance she had them make it for her.

    It's interesting though and I will try and find out who the makers were.

    Thanks,
    Jay
     
  9. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    6407h.amelia earhartjpg.jpg

    She also designed a practical two-piece flying suit with interlocking “9s” for the Ninety-Nines, although it was never formally adopted. The suit is on display in our Pioneers of Flight gallery.


    <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="https://airandspace.si.edu/sites/default/files/styles/body_large/public/media-assets/Untitled.png?itok=4axs2KEc" width="910" height="648" alt="Black and white group photo" />[​IMG]
    Group photograph of many of the charter members of the women pilots' organization The Ninety-Nines, photographed seated at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York, on November 2, 1929. Image: NASM 2005-7753

    In 1935, Phoebe Omlie said in an article for the National Aeronautics Magazine that Amelia was, “all woman and one that the other women of America can proudly put up as an example of their contribution to the progress of this great generation.”

    In a conversation with Louise Thaden, Amelia once said, “We can fly — you know that.” But Amelia was not satisfied keeping this knowledge between herself and other female aviators. Even though proving to the world that women were smart, capable flyers was often like butting their heads “into a stone wall,” Amelia and her peers in the Ninety-Nines decided to change society’s perception of women through flight and, occasionally, through fashion.


    So we see that in the early days there was no provision for ladies flight gear ,and Amelia was the 16th lady to receive a flying license ,so not a big market for the flight gear makers ( a 99 meeting in long island NY this is who was flying at that time ).But her design of jacket as seen above would be designed with the aid of her flight experience ,this is her interpretation of what a good jacket should be for flying . I still think her jacket was custom made , she certainly had access to the production source while she was designing her line of fashion in 1933 . And none of the companies were making ladies Aero wear at the time . So where is the confirmed fact that she bought from Air Associates ? .
    Charter Members
    On November 2, 1929, twenty-six women gathered at Curtiss Airport, Valley Stream, New York. The weather wasn't favorable and most drove in or came by train. The first order of business was the selection of Neva Paris as temporary chairman, then the presentation of flowers to Viola Gentry, who was recovering from a crash following an endurance record attempt. The women conducted their business in a hangar above the din of a Curtiss Challenger engine running up as the work of the mechanics proceeded around them. Tea was served from a tool box wagon on wheels.

    Eligibility and purpose were quickly decided upon. Membership would be open to any woman with a pilot's license, and the purpose was "good fellowship, jobs, and a central office and files on women in aviation". Choosing a name was a little harder. Some offerings were The Climbing Vines, Noisy Birdwomen, Homing Pigeons and Gadflies. Amelia Earhart and Jean Davis Hoyt put a stop to the nonsense proposing the name be taken from the sum total of charter members. Thus the group was momentarily the 86s, then the 97s and finally the 99s. The name/number stopped at 99, but the membership thereafter grew worldwide.

    These first 99 women became our charter members.

    ** - Status unknown.

    Last Name
    First Name
    Maiden Name
    Year Died
    License
    Bio
    Last Name
    First Name Maiden Name Year Died License Bio
    Alexander Mary C. Held 1955 8561
    Bacon Mary Ellen 1936 9969
    Bancroft Barbara W. 6200
    Blake Perry Bernice G. Blake 1996 9138
    Bridewell Ruth T. unknown 6793
    Brown Margery H. 1961 6945
    Brown Myrtle 1934 7701
    Brown Vera 1976 10591
    Burleigh Thelma R. Johnston 1982 6761
    Caldwell Myrtle 1992 7718
    Chassey Irene J. Green 1991 8587
    Chittenden Bonnie Whitman 8589
    Clark Marion Clendaniel 1992 6763
    Combes Esther Vance 1983 3180
    Cox Helen V. Cohecy Bikle 1992 7767
    Davidson ** Jean 9400
    Dodge Jane unknown 7930
    Doig ** Margery L. Greenberg 10073
    Earhart Amelia 1937 5716
    Elder Ruth Camp King 1977 675
    Elliott Thelma Giesin 1991 7732
    Fenno Sarah S. unknown 9920
    Ferguson Frances Leitch Leistikow 8695
    Fiset Adeline F. Anderson 1992 8613
    Fleet Phyllis Nelson Crary 2003 8097
    Foltz Edith Stearns 1956 5600
    Fox Ila Loetscher 1999 7738
    Gentry Viola 1988 1822
    Gillis Fay Wells 2002 9497
    Goddard Phyllis M. Penfield 1984 5487
    Goodrich Mary H. Jenson 2004 9410
    Gorby Melba Beard 1987 9116
    Grey Geraldine Loffredo unknown 1788
    Hall Candis I. Hitzig Gullino 2003 6500
    Hall Sacha Martin 1992 2500
    Halliburton ** Ruth E. Seitz 8031
    Harrell Frances Marsalis 1934 7346
    Heath Lady Mary Williams 1935 5333
    Hoyt Jean D. 1988 4851
    Huyler Betty Gillies 1998 6525
    Johnson Katherine F. 1967 7793
    Joseph Angela L. 1930 8947
    Kauffman Mildred E. Workman 1932 6447
    Kelly Betsy Weeks 1985 9948
    Kelly Madeline B. Royle 1997 5919
    Kenny Cecelia Roy 1980 7143
    Kenyon Cecil W. "Teddy" 1985 9949
    Klingensmith Florence E. 1933 7096
    Kunz Opal Logan 1967 6830
    Lange Eva Mae 1963 8189
    LaRene Jean Foote 1960 5700
    Lay Eleanor B. Ross 1981 8343
    Leh Dorothea Backenstoe 1955 3961
    Lesser Marjorie May VanAntwerp 1969 7200
    Lovelace ** Ethel 5766
    Lutz Lola L. 1968 7806
    MacDonald Mildred H. Chase 1982 7455
    Manning Helen Mathews 1963 9241
    Mathews ** Olivia "Keet" Maugham 9159
    McConnell Edwina Thro 1992 7500
    McCulloch Retha Crittenden 1993 5260
    Miller Jessie Maude 1973 6014
    Mills ** Agnes A. 5711
    Nelson Sylvia Anthony 1984 6456
    Nichols Ruth Rowland 1960 326
    Nicholson Mary Webb 1943 9562
    Noyes Blanche Wilcox 1981 6540
    O'Donnell Gladys 1973 6608
    O'Mara ** Margaret Fzandee 2175
    Omlie Phoebe Fairgrave 1975 199 View
    Paris Neva Findley 1930 5073
    Paxon Peggy J. 1992 8551
    Peacock Achsa B. Donnels 2003 3289
    Perry Margaret C. Manser 1951 4049
    Place ** Elizabeth F. 8716
    Porter ** Lillian Metcalf 4229
    Rasche Thea 1971 6700
    Ray ** Mathilda J. 2/15/1992 7591
    Rothholz Meta 1974 10169
    Ruland Gertrude Oberlander 1972 8322
    Shankle Joan Fay Davis 1965 7838 View
    Spangle Hazel Mark 1992 9260
    Stewart Ruth Woerner 1932 5375
    Stinaff Mildred 1931 10491
    Stinson Marjorie C. 1975 1600
    Stocker Dorothy L. unknown 7973
    Thaden Louise McPhetridge 1979 1943
    Thomas Margaret Warren 2004 6180 View
    Tier Nancy Hopkins 1997 5889
    Trout Evelyn Bobbi 2003 2613
    Von Mach Mary E. 1980 4117
    Walker Vera Dawn 1978 5265
    Walsh ** Wilma L. 4272
    Webb ** E. Ruth 8240
    White Nora Alma 1931 9270
    Willhite Nellie Zabel 1991 8242
    Willis Margaret Smith 1971 5018
    Wood Josephine C. Wallingford 2004 9129
    Worley ** Alberta B. Homan 9286
    Last Name
    First Name
    Maiden Name
    Year Died
    License
    Bio


    History
    99s in Aviation History Charter Members Conference Dates Women in Aviation History Air Racing Air Traffic Control Expanded Horizons
    [​IMG]
    Still going today

    BIP


    I
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  10. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    [​IMG]


    Miss Elinor Smith, 17 years old, waving to the crowd of thousands, just after she landed here after establishing a new women’s flight endurance record, 26 hours, 21
    minutes, 32 seconds, over four hours better than that of Mrs. McPhetridge of Los Angeles circa 1928.

    This is an interesting jacket that pre dates the A-2 type similar pockets and collar but snap closure . Looks by the leather creasing it is cape leather .

    BIP
     
  11. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    58bda89215deuthch.jpg


    Aviators Baroness Von Schoenberg Kranefeldt and Christel Schultes before the aerial raid between Europe and New York in 1928 in Bavaria, Germany.

    Similar them to the cloth A1 type

    BIP
     
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  12. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    58bda5ba1500003b16abd73d.jpg

    Note the piece of string on the hat !.
    Circa 1920
    BIP
     
  13. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

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    620
    Location:
    Norway
    Great photos, especially love the one with the two German girls.
     
  14. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    409
    http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2015_03_Ava-Corbis-4.jpg http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2015_03_Ava-Corbis-7.jpg http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2015_03_Ava-Corbis-24.jpg https___airandspace_si_edu_webimages_previews_3960p_jpg.jpg.jpg
    Nancy Love
    Nancy Harkness Love learned to fly in Houghton, Michigan, in 1930 at the age of 16. She was educated at Milton Academy and Vassar College and earned her commercial pilot's license while in college. In 1935 she was one of three women hired by the Bureau of Air Commerce to work on its air-marking project. Married to Robert Love in 1936, she discovered on her West Coast honeymoon that Beechcraft Company had entered her in the Amelia Earhart Trophy Race at the National Air Races in Los Angeles. With no experience in pylon flying, she managed to finish in fifth place. She also worked for Gwinn Aircar Company, a job that included flight testing a new tricycle landing gear. Love and her husband were running a successful aircraft sales business in 1940 when she began flying American airplanes to Canada, for shipment to France. With the approach of World War II, Love recognized the coming need for pilots to ferry aircraft and identified highly qualified women pilots in the U.S. who could perform such duties. In September 1942, the Army Air Corps' Air Transport Command approved the creation of a temporary, civilian women's flying corps, the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), under the direction of Nancy Love. Initially, Jacqueline Cochran's Women's Flying Training Detachment classes graduated into the WAFS. In 1943, the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) combined these two organizations, with Cochran as the overall director; Love remained in charge of the WAFS unit, although under Cochran. The WAFS moved thousands of military aircraft form factories and air bases around the country with an enviable record of safety and professionalism. After the war, Love continued to fly for business and pleasure.
    I will post some more then if you like em .
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
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  15. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

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    620
    Location:
    Norway
    Once again wonderful pics!
     
  16. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

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    http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2015_03_Ava-Corbis-22.jpg unti5.png
     
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  17. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

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    321
    Yes great photos! I had found the same history on Earhart. Amazing lady for sure. When she got her Pilot Certificate, she was #16. As you stated, not much flight gear for women at that time. However, when she showed up in that jacket is was in the mid 30's. By then A.G. Spalding had a whole line of women's aviation clothing and gear. Also Air Associates Inc. was in full swing as an up and coming flight clothing and gear manufacturer making similar jackets.

    I still think she probably had that jacket made by Air Associates or Spalding. Is there any evidence of her ever making a leather jacket? All I have found was the cloth items.

    Here is some women's Spalding gear from the 20's-30's out of a historic catalog:
    Spalding-gear.jpg

    These are more in the style of the museum jackets.

    Her later jacket we are reproducing is much closer to the style that Air Associates was making at the time:
    Original-A-1.jpg


    All The Best,
    Jay
     
  18. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,881
    this whole thread is one of the coolest, most informative i have read in a long time. thanx guys for all of the info and pix. oh, and who doesnt like a gal in leather? [rhetorical]
     
  19. bseal

    bseal Well-Known Member

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    1,771
    Location:
    Benicia, CA
    Rumor has it, her jacket was manufactured by quite possibly, Scully.
     
  20. fleet16b

    fleet16b Member

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    Aerodrome of Democracy - Canada
    Looks like she puked out the window at least once during the flight
     

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