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Joseph

New Member
I am looking to restore my grandfathers A2 flight jacket. It's been in a bag in the attic for 40 or so years. I've seen quite a few recommendations for ELC, but I have concerns sending it that far away and was hoping there was some place closer (I'm in florida). It needs a lot of work. Any advice is appreciated.
 

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B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Joseph
There are a few private individuals here in the US who do outstanding restoration work. That jacket that you have,if it’s an original Werber 1729 in size 50, is a very Rare jacket . I would take my time and check out each recommendation you receive to insure it’s proper care and restoration . Please send us some additional photos of the whole jacket laid flat . Welcome to the forum..,,!!
Where are you located in Florida?
 
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Joseph

New Member
On the treasure coast. I'm pretty sure its original, I've got pictures of my grandfather in it. He was stationed in Orlando training bombers at the pine castle base. I'll post a few more pictures later.
Thanks
Joseph
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
On the treasure coast. I'm pretty sure its original, I've got pictures of my grandfather in it. He was stationed in Orlando training bombers at the pine castle base. I'll post a few more pictures later.
Thanks
Joseph
Well than that’s an original and it’s what we all talk about and hope to see one day. You ARE DEFINITELY in the right place. Post as many pictures of the jacket as you can and I assure you, others will be along with suggestions as soon as they realize what you have. BTW I’m up in Jacksonville so you have an acquaintance in Florida. Standby for the surge!!:D
 

Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
i highly recommend steve sellers and dave sheeley. both are members here, and both are masters. they understand originals, and their value, not only in $, but in sentiment as well. they are one man outfits, thus it is the man himself that will work on your jacket. also, they are both on the east coast usa. i would not send the jacket to anyone else, period.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
Priority questions here are:
1. What do you intend to do with it?
2. What you think needs doing to it?

Then people can advise on what actually needs doing to it, if anything, in order for the jacket to serve the purpose you have in mind.
 

Joseph

New Member
Priority questions here are:
1. What do you intend to do with it?
2. What you think needs doing to it?

Then people can advise on what actually needs doing to it, if anything, in order for the jacket to serve the purpose you have in mind.
I'd like to keep it, and depending on what its value and durability is, might wear it. Currently the stitching is barely holding it together, and the fleece is pretty threadbare.
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
I'd like to keep it
Good to hear! That's a really important piece of your family's history. If it was me I'd be tempted to merely consolidate the condition to stop any further deterioration with a view to displaying it along with other pieces from your granddad and original photos of him in service.

Lovely to have something so tangible and symbolic of his service.
 

Joseph

New Member
Good to hear! That's a really important piece of your family's history. If it was me I'd be tempted to merely consolidate the condition to stop any further deterioration with a view to displaying it along with other pieces from your granddad and original photos of him in service.

Lovely to have something so tangible and symbolic of his service.
What does it mean to consolidate the condition?
 

Smithy

Well-Known Member
What does it mean to consolidate the condition?
Sorry, that means to use particular solutions and non aggressive cleaning techniques to stop rot or potential rot in decay areas, to stop calcification/rust, mould removal, etc. It's what is used in museums for the purposes of making an artefact stable for display or storage.

How you want to use or display this jacket determines what you need to do with it. The process I mention above is for keeping an artefact as close to original and how it was made as possible, this is obviously for display purposes. If you have a view to "restore" it for wearing (if that's possible) then just be aware that this will require new materials and therefore will affect its originality. For a jacket like this with a personal connection I'd be inclined to try and keep it for display purposes and to protect it for future generations of your family. It will never be able to be used like a leather jacket you buy today and I'd imagine that the worry of damaging granddad's jacket won't mean that it will enable carefree wearing. If it was me I'd buy a Weber repro to wear around as a daily reminder of your grandfather and this one I would display.

It's one thing to restore an original that you have no personal connection with but with something like this that has such a special family connection, I'd think carefully about what you do with it.

Saying that, that's just my opinion, it's your jacket and it's a beauty so you're lucky already!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Joseph
I whole heartily agree with Smithy’s response. This jacket is not only a very rare artifact, it’s directly tied to your family and their history as well, With a little effort you’ll be able to find a Repro of this jacket that closely resembles the original. You can wear that with the peace of mind of knowing that you’re not degrading or injuring your granddads original Werber. You asked about it’s worth . This jacket could be worth as much as $2500 to $5000 depending on how badly someone wants it. You have to understand that putting a price on something like this is difficult because it’s very subjective and arbitrary in that it all depends on how bad the buyer wants it and how much he’ll have to spend to get the jacket restored for what he wants to do with it. You have a real gem there with a direct connection to you and your family . Hang onto it and protect it for the next generation of your family.
Cheers
B-Man
 
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2BM2K

Well-Known Member
Just out of curiosity, as the jacket is from the early 1930's and has not been redyed etc do you know where,
when or with what unit your grandfather served.
 

Grant

Well-Known Member
For what it's worth, Steve Sellers restored an original Rough Wear for me that was worse off than your Werber. I'm a freak for attention to detail and I still marvel at the workmanship and skill in restoring the jacket. He basically disassembled the entire jacket, re-placed the lining with stand collar, re-stitched matching every stitch hole, replaced the knits and zip.
 

SuinBruin

Well-Known Member
Hey Joseph, welcome to the forum. Just to give you a bit of background and explain why people are so excited about your grandfather's jacket, it was one of the earliest type A-2s made, ca. fiscal year 1933. This contract probably only covered a few hundred jackets, and very, very few of those would have been as large as a size 50. You can find some additional information in this thread:

A-2 contract dates etc.
 

Micawber

Well-Known Member
I'll bite on the understanding that these are my personal views and will be influenced by a background in conservation, preservation and collecting this and that for many years.

From what I can see of the photos it does not look to bad and if it were mine I would rather conserve what's there as opposed to replace and restore. One you start replacing this and that on what is a somewhat rare big size jacket it will start to loose it's originality and "feel" of being a direct link with the past. Keep as is and conserve is my advice but buy a decent repro copy of the same contract to wear in homage to your Grandfather.

Edited to add that I started typing my response just after you answered my enquiries Joseph but no sooner had I got going I was called away for dinner. In essence I'm of the same mind as Smithy and B-Man2
 
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Joseph

New Member
For what it's worth, Steve Sellers restored an original Rough Wear for me that was worse off than your Werber. I'm a freak for attention to detail and I still marvel at the workmanship and skill in restoring the jacket. He basically disassembled the entire jacket, re-placed the lining with stand collar, re-stitched matching every stitch hole, replaced the knits and zip.
He was in the orlando FL area, at the pine castle base. I don't know much, except he was a major in the army air force, and worked with bomber training and parachuting. Here are a few of his pictures.
 

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