Buttoned Pocket Flaps A-2 Jackets

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by 33-1729, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    Germany was far from a jerkwater nation of course. But it was believed that the old power base, von Hindenburg and the industrialists, would either keep the Nazis to heel or throw them out. Trouble is they underestimated Hitler’s appeal and support.
     
  2. 33-1729

    33-1729 Active Member

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    Thinking back to your comment in post 127 about Max Werber being a labor/money-saver, I suspect the button pocket flapped Werber 32-6225 details were very similar to the snap pocket 33-1729 & 36-1112P contracts (label included).

    It would be great if we could find a Werber 34-518P, but I'm guessing if it was relined it would be a very hard spot (same for Werber 37-1119P). There may also not be that many, if any, 34-518P's left around due to the Werber factory fire in October 1933 (the 34-518P contract date was Sept 5, 1933).

    It's possible the Werber factory arson fire in May 1934 precluded any A-2 contract for fiscal year 1935, making 36-1112P the next known Werber contract. When I get to the National Archives I'll look for any A-2 contracts from 1935 too.

    prewar.JPG
     
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  3. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    Werber Coat also had some labor troubles under the new NRA regs about that time, as you may have read.
     
  4. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

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    yeah, thats more like it, jay. the cross in the center is a non issue. it was used for hundreds of years, and is still used. simple black on white, or off white, or gold. all are period used color combos..the reverse of white, off white, or gold on a black field is also period looking.
     
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  5. 33-1729

    33-1729 Active Member

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    Found a dual Goldsmith tag from 1940-44, and the format of company logo with size on top and spec tag below might have been the same format they used on the 31-1897 contract.

    stacked.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
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  6. SuinBruin

    SuinBruin Well-Known Member

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    This is a great thread. Very informative and the generosity & comity between different jacket makers is heartening to see.

    P.S. When zoomer comes out of retirement he does it with a vengeance. Welcome back, zoomer.
     
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  7. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    It is possible. It definitely lends evidence to the combination label theory. I would think that they would have been provided with the Spec label and matching size tab like in the G&F A-1 jacket and the SAT a-2 jacket which was only a year later. That jacket had the spec label on top and the MFG label underneath. I believe this is more likely configuration as the Spec label is the important info the government would want on top. Also the SAT was made at basically the same time, within a year, so I would think that it would provide the best example of how the US Army Air Corps would request or require the labels to be placed.
     
  8. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    We've made a start on our Goldsmith jacket, we are still undecided as to whether to make any more, if we do it will be a limited edition of 25.
    I've finished the sample bodyshell and lining in my studio but I've none of the right knit nor a Hookless zipper up here so I'm sending it down to the factory for Christine to finish off. We'll decide when this one is finished whether or not to go ahead with another 24.
    1931 A-2 003.JPG 1931 A-2 005.JPG 1931 A-2 004.JPG
     
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  9. Falcon_52

    Falcon_52 Active Member

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    Nice work, Ken!! What made you decide to make it?

    Noel
     
  10. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    Noel

    There was enough info from the pics on the first day they emerged on here to make an accurate replica, I liked the idea of doing something nobody else had done. The idea of a limited edition of 25 also appealed.
    What none of us at Aero like are the look of the buttonholes and our A-2 machinists are booked solid, we'll see..............
     
  11. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake Active Member

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    139
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    North West, United Kingdom
    That’s sensational, Ken. Love the look of it! Fit wise, what pattern is it based on? And when might you be opening these up for us to order?

    This whole discussion has been fascinating. Surely it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that there is a surviving Goldsmith jacket out there somewhere? With 25 made it’s unlikely, but if they were given to higher ranking individuals you never know.

    I would be intrigued to see if there is one buried deep in a museum collection....you never know! Are there any archivists at the National Museum of the USAF who would be able to assist? I think it would be worthwhile to see if they have anything...considering how iconic the A-2 is, finding any remnants of the (previously unknown) very first contract would be quite a coup.
     
  12. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    Thanks, the leather I used is a big plus for the look of a well preserved 90 year old jacket. It's our Battered Steer ,we have the same finish in horse, feels an ideal weight and it's got age "right out of the box".
    We are using the 1938 Aero pattern, little mods here and there but the fit is the same.
    We'll decide once we've seen the finished jacket, hopefully before the end of the month

    I'd have thought there's an outside chance Hap Arnold's might have survived, he had a few different A-2s judging by period pics so I doubt if any got trashed.
     
  13. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    Anyone seen these before........not sure if the AVG jacket is buttoned, possibly?

    Early A-2. 2.jpg

    Early A-2. 1 jpg.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  14. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Looks like a great start there Ken!

    I have gotten the preliminary label samples and I am working on the pattern at the moment. Below is our Goldsmith reproduction label. It is a copy of the actual label they were using on clothing in the period 1928-1934. There are distinct differences in the labels during that era, so this label can be firmly placed as the label they would have had at the factory when they made the contract A-2. I have done considerable research on the label. I want the details on our reproduction to be as close as possible to how we think the jacket was originally made.

    It is my belief that they would have used this label because the order was only for 25 jackets and they would have had this label on hand. It would not make sense to do a new label printing for 25 jackets. Also there is the evidence of the SAT jacket 1 year later. The government allowed SAT to affix the company label they had on hand to the contract jacket. Making a special matching label was not a requirement.

    Goldsmith did have a gold and black label but they were used for their baseball gloves. It never appeared in this format and no evidence is found that they used it on any clothing. The gold labels had the wording "Guaranteed Athletic Goods" across the top beginning in 1923 and continuing through 1935. I don't believe the gold label ever appeared with "P Goldsmith Sons Co" across the top.

    The 1920's - 1930's baseballs can be used as a guide to track the label changes, but the baseball stamps were not identical to the clothing labels. Two of the big differences are the dashed lines on the cross and the bold "S" in the middle. The bold "S" also appeared on the gold and black labels on the gloves. I don't believe the Ohio was ever abbreviated as "O" on the clothing labels but did appear on the baseballs from 1926 - 1933

    I do believe that the contract label was gold and black and the size tab would have been provided as well, and should match the contact label. We see this on the SAT 1 year later and I believe there is a great chance it was the same on this jacket.

    Our contract label will be Gold on black and will be placed on top of the company logo. The size tab will be sewn on next to the contract label.
    Final-sample-1.jpg Goldsmith-Label-10.jpg

    Regards,
    Jay
     
  15. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    ...............on the other hand Goldsmith had a lot of different labels, and I mean a lot, they look just the sort of firm that would get a new label for each project. They also had a whole variety of logos.
    Althought the (initial) contact was only for 25 jackets, surely they'd have envisaged getting a second contract and would have made the first batch look as professional as possible? "Shall we fit one of our old shirt labels or get smart new one woven?" Mmmmmm

    I can imagine SAT getting their contract and thinking, let's not bother getting a special label done, look what happened to Goldsmith, they didn't get a second contract!
    Jay, all we can do is guess, until one shows up that is!
     
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  16. MeachamLake

    MeachamLake Active Member

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  17. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    That's true Ken we can't be 100% sure, but we can make a guess based on the best information available. I feel a responsibility to do due diligence in reproducing this jacket. It is a historically significant one.

    A Gold and black label is nice looking and was my first choice but the evidence is just not there. Goldsmith made incremental changes to their labels and logo that can be tracked. It was not a "every project gets a new label" mentality. They had specific labels and colors for each type of product. From a manufacturing standpoint, it just makes sense to use your existing labels. Especially on a preliminary 25 jacket project.

    Regards,
    Jay
     
  18. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Pissing Contest.jpg

    Let's not turn this intellectual work into one
     
  19. 33-1729

    33-1729 Active Member

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    146
    Absolutely, the labeling is a guess and what has been found a guideline.

    What will really be fascinating is all of the construction details we can see. Hap's jacket contract clearly had three unique details that can be pulled from this thread: (1) a very wide collar stand (haven't measured, but must be an inch), (2) a double stitching on the pockets, and (3) an A-1 style collar loop. The epaulets over the shoulder seam is unusual and not seen again until the 1941 Ostermann Co. contract.

    Given every known survivor from the earliest 32-485 through 38-1711P had leather jetting down the leading edge of the front left lining pocket and no contracts thereafter did (beginning in 1939), I would expect all the earliest contracts had this detail too. But who knows? Really curious to see how these turn out!

    Picture1.jpg
     
  20. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    I'd say that's a given.

    You won't find this feature on any other leather jackets, I guess that's what happens when one asks a glove maker to make a jacket.
    In their defence, open ended zippers were very new when the Goldsmith A-2 was made.
    Once it became obvious that this extra facing was utterly pointless, all the makers dropped it.
    Looks great though doesn't it. :>)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018

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