M422, M422a and AN-J-3 contract value ,award /completion dates

Discussion in 'General Flight Jacket Discussion' started by Carl, Jul 8, 2018.

  1. STEVE S.

    STEVE S. Active Member

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    493
    Grant, is that the same one you sent me pics of years ago when I was trying to cipher out the liner while restoring mine? I still have the photos!
     
  2. Grant

    Grant Well-Known Member

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    1,309
    Hey Steve, yes it was!
     
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  3. Carl

    Carl Well-Known Member

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    So no idea of any maker for the AN-J-3 ???
     
  4. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    I've owned three mil spec. AN-J-3 originals (two 'army' versions, one 'navy' version) and a civilian jacket. The 1940s civilian version of the AN-J-3 was labelled by McGregor Sportswear in tan capeskin (Matt bought it and has posted images here), so that suggests that Doniger might have submitted a pattern for approval.

    The other jackets were not easy to attribute, but the USN version had some stylistic similarities to Monarch USN jackets, but it's only supposition on my part.
     
  5. Brent

    Brent Active Member

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    168
    Location:
    Olathe, KS
    John Lindsay
    MILITARY | STAFF SERGEANT | RIGHT WAIST GUNNER, WAIST GUNNER | 398TH BOMB GROUP
    Shot down at Bavendorf on 6/18/44 in B-17 #42102391 Prisoner of War (POW) POW Aug 1944

    I've been poking around the American Air Museum website and found this what appears to be an AN-J-3.
    media-21023.jpeg
     
  6. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    I've never seen a military leather collar fitted this way.
    It was typically, but not exclusively. used by Levis on their leather jackets during the 1930s
     
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  7. Brent

    Brent Active Member

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    168
    Location:
    Olathe, KS
    So most likely a civilian private purchase jacket. Thanks Ken.

    Regards,
     
  8. STEVE S.

    STEVE S. Active Member

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    493
    I agree with Ken, never seen one like this from a military contract. Looks like the collar was attached flush, not inset & the topstitching runs up the front & around the top of the collar instead of below on a normal inset collar. Very interesting piece!
     
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  9. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Steve

    Levi's (as far as I know) were the first to use the system for attaching collar/lining. It's a cloth tailor's method.
    The top collar is attached to the lining, the back collar attached to the bodyshell and the two joined all the way round the extremities of the two sections.
    Top stitch runs up the front, straight onto and round the collar and down the other front.(As you spotted)
    Problem is getting the spool tension right so the top stitch on the collar looks OK (It's actually the under stitch)
    It's a real Pain in the a***, when we worked with Levi Vintage some of our machinists never quite grasped it.
     
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  10. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

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    358
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    As far as that odd looking collar goes, Monarch used a close to the same method of attaching a collar on their fleece jackets. Like used on their M-444 contracts. That way when attaching a collar it creates a lip. Then making an otherwise fragile fleece hide less likely to tear by adding untold strength to the hide. In the end, making otherwise weak fleece hide nearly impossible to tear once worn. However by using that method of construction it also served another purpose by also allowing Monarch to more easily attached the collar assembly. Ultimately, done to reduce the number connecting layers of hide from three thickness down to two. Thus facilitating the stitch work with their then otherwise limited capability. All due to the machine constraints (Monarch's lack of walking foot machinery) back in the day.

    This same type of lip construction is also used by Monarch on their USN type jacket shoulder, body, and sleeve seams. Again, diminishing the number of thicknesses from three down to two. Thereafter Monarch's machinery could facilitate a complete a stitch without fail that it might not have been able to do otherwise.

    Yes difficult to grasp unless tasked with building one of those fleece or any Monarch jacket for that matter. Then forced to study it and then implement it. But quite ingenious. All explaining Monarch's ZERO seam allowances.


    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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  11. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Another way of putting it, the walking foot must have been like the invention of the wheel to leather makers............BTW any idea who was first to use this collar method on leather.......Levis or Monarch?
    From memory LVC designers claimed an early 30's original dateline (forget the actual year) for one of their jackets with this collar method that they brought over for SF, we were required to wear cloth gloves to handle it
     
  12. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

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    358
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,
    The earliest Monarch jacket I have ever seen with that exact same collar construction technique used was made pre 1939. Hard to say exactly when built but it had a grommet type Talon zip. Problem being & for an exact date, it is my understanding that the M-39 Talon and the grommet type Talon zip crossed paths for at least one full year of production.

    I tried to purchase that jacket with the odd collar (Monarch's 1st generation type jacket to use a zip) but was out bid by another. It can bee seen below.


    That same Monarch jacket seen above inspired me to duplicate it's two labels & use that same hounds tooth type wool lining on my horsehide pre War Monarch Half Belt I patterned, restored complete and now use for one of my wearers.


    Note the early M-422 Monarch type map/pistol pocket I included with that restoration. Now a one of a kind cool wear.

    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
  13. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    Hi Dave

    I'm not a big fan of dating jackets by zippers, factories use what they've got in stock, you'll know that, back in the day would it matter if the zipper was 1 year old or 10 years old?
    OK it's good to say "Not before 19??...." but if you are anything like us you'll have plenty odd zippers lying about.........excluding proper deadstock 30s-50s
    We've boxes of 70s Talons, 80s Talons, 90s Conmar etc et, Aero zippers from 10 years ago or so..........................
    These go into oddments, trainee jackets, all sorts. Someone in 2035 trying to date one of our jackets by the zipper would struggle.

    My money would be on Levis being before Monarch but it would be very hard to prove either way.
    Great look when done well though

    Ken
     
  14. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
  15. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

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    358
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    I was not merely basing my estimated manufacture date for my Monarch jacket example solely on the zipper. Rather the combination of label types, visible droop at front and where it terminates at the zip connection points & early back panel. Not to mention cuff style. All that I'm well aware all predate 1941. All leading me to speculate that my example of that odd collared Monarch jacket is a fairly early example.

    Not to mention, the fact that the zip slider is an early type pin lock design speaks for it's self. It has come to my attention that those late 1930s cross over grommet type zips generally are exclusively seen matched up with the more modern type spring lock zips like seen on Brent's proposed AN-J-3 jacket.

    As previously explained with the Monarch MFG procedure of limiting layers of hide to better facilitate the stitching process with the tools they had on hand played a big roll in dictating design. Case in point, those more early designed jackets more often than not limited the amount of the leather portion of the lapel. Most attribute that oddity to the frugality of the era. While I maintain it was also done in part to limit machine malfunctions and create a better basis for smooth operating machinery and limit slow downs. Thereby increasing production through design. Probably one of the greatest reasons why the WW-2 era A-2 design lacks much in the way of lapel type leather.

    Simply put the WW-2 A-2 design in it's self makes it a quick build. Relatively easy on equipment given the machinery available at the time. On the other hand & for jacket builders like Monarch that had contracts for both the A-2 and USN type jackets had to have been troubled. Especially with the USN type jackets, a complicated difficult build as compared to the A-2, slowing production rates by taxing machinery with their inherent multiple layers.

    USN type jackets made during the War are often seen with construction anomalies that can be directly attributed to the machinery that was made available and just could not cope with the work.

    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  16. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    1,126
    Dave

    This is the lining/ 1/4 facing you refer to, I assume? (Below) Also a feature of Levi Vintage from the early 1930s, certainly in use by 1933.34.............with repect I'm of the school of saving leather reason. Apart from the thickness issue (which is a reasonable theory) it's a lot harder doing a neat topstitch with this (part leather/part cloth facing)system, it takes time and care to keep a straight line on the exterior while making sure the stitch is catching just enough of the lining, not too much and not too little, so there's no chance of a small excess getting stuck in the zipper while it's being used.
    I know Levis made some leather jackets in SF but I wonder if they could have also sent outwork to Monarch?
    Are you aware of a Mr Terry Mitchell? He's very well informed on Monarchs of the era

    Levi Lining.jpg
     
  17. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

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    358
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi Ken,

    I totally agree with you for the need with the addition of leather for that upper portion of the lapel along the zip track. But it is plain to see that during the construction of those jackets any and all extra seam allowances that could have otherwise made for a third layer is in fact noticeably trimmed. The fact that someone took the time to do that little bit extra goes well beyond simply saving on materials. That in it's self should tell you something.

    I'm also certain that Monarch was the go to out source company for the likes of Hercules, Admiral Bird. Richman Brothers. & no telling how many more.

    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
  18. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,126
    On the other hand, the earliest this 1/4 facing appears is on pre zippered cloth jackets from the 1920s.
    There would be no real saving on cloth as a full length facing would fit easily between the back & front panels on a lay up in all but really big sizes making it, as you suggest a design feature.
    This leans towards the design being the work of a predominantly cloth maker, even Levis themselves perhaps? That would explain the design being adopted for leather, by Levis themselves as well as others, Monarch even?
    It sure saves leather on the small panelled leathers of the 1930s, so both theories may be correct in their own way?
     
  19. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

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    358
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Yes Ken I totally agree.

    Cheers, Dave
     
  20. Maverickson

    Maverickson Active Member

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    358
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Hi All,

    Thought I would show an example of what I was explaining about limiting layers of hide to facilitate more smooth and quicker production with vintage jackets. An inherent problem with WW-2 era USN type jackets and thought relevant to this thread. That particular jacket was a AN-J-3A model Arnoff. Mentioned by Carl's list from this thread as one of the more limited produced AN-J-3A jackets & seen below.


    Looks good from a distance. That is until you zero in on the area with the most layers of hide. One of the problem area is where the wind flap connects to the body of the jacket. That multi layered area more often than not can create a train wreck and did.

    Seen at the front along the zip top stitch track and directly adjacent to the wind flap.


    Seen at the reverse side of the windflap.


    Basically, that anomaly was at least partially initiated from concentrating too many layers of hide while using a machine that was not quite suited for for the task. Note that the thread seen used to build that Arnoff is nylon. Never seen used on the just earlier M-422A jacket contracts. However, found used on some but not all of the WW-2 era AN model jackets.

    For the most part now remedied with the walking foot sewing machine.

    Cheers, Dave
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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