Amelia Earhart Flight Jacket Reproduction - The Aviatrix

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

  1. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Active Member

    Messages:
    313
    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
     
    seres likes this.
  2. bseal

    bseal Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,762
    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:
    263
    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:
    313
    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
     
    Kennyz and bseal like this.
  5. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    263
    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:

    bseal likes this.
  6. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    263
    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
     
    bseal likes this.
  7. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    263
    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:
    313
    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
     

Share This Page