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Ken @ Areo's Jean Batten jacket

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
Ken replied to my women in flight gear photos thread, it might be a bit hidden away there so I have moved it here.
Thanks for the pics Ken.


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Ken repiled
"The other is the Suede Jacket with the striped knit worn by Jean Batten. I have had the identical jacket since around 1970, it's British, I forget the maker but it's circa early 30s.
It's been on Aero's "Recreate" list for decades. We made two replicas a few years ago but both were stolen in the raid two years ago.
I have all the correct knit up here but the original jacket is still in the factory, it's being send up today so I can make another replica.
It's been in my possession longer than any other jacket I currently own, it's still (just about) wearable but sadly not in as good nick as it was when I got in my youth

Incidentally, I've never seen another in all those years"

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dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
What a fantastic label, for anybody who does not know 'adastra' ad astra is latin for "to the stars.
Tha RAF motto is Per ardua ad astra "through adversity to the stars or "through struggle to the stars.

By looking at some of the labels they seems to still have been making jackets in the 1970s

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dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
60s or 70s?

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By the the labels it seems in the companies later years they sold their jackets to other companies who put their own labels in.
 
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Smithy

Well-Known Member
Being a Kiwi, I grew up as a nipper hearing about Jean Batten, she really was quite the aviation superstar back in the 30s and her achievements are incredible. The international terminal at Auckland airport is named after her and there's a bronze statue of her out the front.
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
Adastra clothing was widely sold in Australia in the late 40s and 50s, I found a lot of ads from newspapers of the era.
NZ ads from the 1930s.
 
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Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
dinomartino

Great stuff, blows Burberry etc away
I (strongly) suspect the Green Coat was originally a knee length Ladies Motoring Coat from the 1920s, is it in your possession? If so could you please check the hem area for modification clues
I love the Cord Jacket, it's a dead ringer for one I wore to school there's a pic of me wearing it (circa 1951-2) in the Japanerse "Love Aero Bible"
I've seen other pics in relative's photo collections, sure its the same jacket
My Suede jacket (OP) arrived back home yesterday, I will get a repro together in the next couple of weeks
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Just noticed, Adastra top stitched around the sleeve head on the body, this is virtually unique in European Leather jackets of the era. That's a US thing, I assumed mine was unique
Sleeve heads were normally finished like a suit with a roll in the head (Like the Green "Coat")
Interesting
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
Shame so little is known about them, they seem to have been in business from before WW1 right uo to the 1970s and where exporting to commonwealth countries.
Not many old newspapers seem to be digitised in the UK so you cannot search the ads like you can for Australian newspapers. a lot of boys, womens and mens jackets.
The jackets are from eBay and shops, the green one is on ebay for a crazy price.

 
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Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Just looked at the Green "Jacket" listing on ebay
It's clear from the "naive" stitching on the lining hem that the coat has been shortened
Date would also confirm a longer garment although my money would be on the immediate post war years to very early 1920s
The styling is so obviously from that short window of time
 

Ken at Aero Leather

Well-Known Member
Maybe I can see why they went under
£25 for a Suede Jacket in 1953 is pretty eyewatering
For instance
Early 60's Lewis Bronx £9 See recent VLJ Thread
My Ruskin Brand 1969 From £18 and we were high end priced
 

dinomartino1

Well-Known Member
Maybe I can see why they went under
£25 for a Suede Jacket in 1953 is pretty eyewatering
For instance
Early 60's Lewis Bronx £9 See recent VLJ Thread
My Ruskin Brand 1969 From £18 and we were high end priced
The 1953 average wage in Australia £11/16s the tax rate for earnings of 600-700 pounds was 7.2%
UK £5/2s/ 5d less a whopping basic tax rate of47.5% to the inland revenue

That shocked me, I knew the tax rate was high after the war but I thought that was only for higher incomes not the basic rate.
 
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