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My first Original (a notorious one at that)

Edward

Well-Known Member
Alright crew, don’t laugh at me nor cry as I knew what I was doing going in on this but until it rots away I think I have something of a fun original A-2 to enjoy until it dies or I die… either way it’ll be coming soon enough for both. LOL!
After everything I knew about them I still purchased a notorious I. Spiewak & Sons A-2. I know, I know… this was an impulse buy. So red flags be damned!
The criteria: I wanted a wearable A-2. It needed to fit and wasn’t attributed or heavily patched so I would not feel terribly guilty wearing a piece of WWII AAF history and worrying about adding more wear and tear. This jacket is a very roomy size 44. Quite frankly I thought for certain the arms would be too short or the shoulders too tight but I feel like I’m wearing a size 46! Very comfy with long arm length!
The leather is fine but yes, there are a couple of small trouble spots. I have a lot of pics so bear with me as I meet the image limit per post...

So here it is…
I. Spiewak & Sons
W535ac 28820__42-18776P
Patched: 2nd Bomb SQ., 22nd Bomb Group 5th AAF (B-26 Marauder / B-25 Mitchells and B-24 Liberators) I’m going with a crew member of a Marauder :)
(I see Andrew in Australia has an Aussie made A-2 with the same patch!)

The liner appears to be original with only some minor wear and a couple tiny holes but not certain. Sadly the cuffs and waistband were replaced with black knits. They feel like cotton or a poly/cotton mix but not wool. They are in excellent condition so for now I don’t intend to replace them considering the jacket may not last long anyway.
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Edward

Well-Known Member
A few areas of red rot starting on the epaulettes, a small area on the back top shoulder and tiny spot on the backside of arm. Not sure how fast this spreads or the extent of the dry rot but I purchased KLUCEL G from preservation solutions
which is used to treat leather that is starting to deteriorate with “red rot”. The Klucel G (also known as Cellugel ) will consolidate the red rot area and leave a permanent, flexible webbing throughout the leather to strengthen and extend the life of the leather. So hopefully by applying this solution I can strengthen the area and slow the deterioration so I can continue to wear it. We shall see.

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Edward

Well-Known Member
This is my first original, first Goatskin.. perhaps not the smartest purchase and certainly not any kind of investment but now I can check off Original vintage A-2 for my collection and take my rightful seat at the Vintage Leather Jackets forum legitimately. Now that I have taken the plunge I’m sure I’ll be looking for another original in the future.

here is what I purchased to strengthen the red rot weak areas

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Silver Surfer

Well-Known Member
actually, not too shabby at all. you went in with eyes open, and made a sound decision. those original spiewaks were sized in an odd way. most are at least one size larger then tagged, and have awfully wide shoulders. looks like ya have a handle on the ubiquitous spiewak red rot. the product that you are using for it is a revelation to me.
 

Edward

Well-Known Member
actually, not too shabby at all. you went in with eyes open, and made a sound decision. those original spiewaks were sized in an odd way. most are at least one size larger then tagged, and have awfully wide shoulders. looks like ya have a handle on the ubiquitous spiewak red rot. the product that you are using for it is a revelation to me.
I was surprised at the sizing as well and thought it was mislabeled. I wear a modern 42 in Eastman jackets and was certain I needed a 44 or 46 in WWII sizing. most jackets that come available are 36,38 and 40... I was hesitant on a 42 as I knew they were sized smaller than today's 42 so when this 44 came up I pondered it for some time before committing to the red rot catch-22 LOL! surprisingly this jacket is spacious and baggy. which is good... I can eat some hotdogs!

before I purchased this I did research on red rot just to be fully aware of what I was facing after having read posts here of course. when I came across this company that ships to museums world wide I thought this might be a solution for a temporary fix being the jacket is only just starting to show degradation. for all I know the entire jacket is about to burst into red rot but what areas I can see and feel I think I can arrest for the time being with this snake oil. but if it works then I might get a few years out of this A-2. Until I find an original 44 in HH. LOL!
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Ed
I have a feeling that jacket is going to be around a lot longer than you might think. Spiewaks can be fragile once they start to go but you have a lot of life left in that one. If you didn’t go completely overboard with the purchase price of the jacket , I’d say you’ve got a winner!
Cheers
 

Edward

Well-Known Member
Ed
I have a feeling that jacket is going to be around a lot longer than you might think. Spiewaks can be fragile once they start to go but you have a lot of life left in that one. If you didn’t go completely overboard with the purchase price of the jacket , I’d say you’ve got a winner!
Cheers
well, it was a bit pricey... how do you feel about me dropping $1,225.00 shipped for a vintage original in pretty good wearable condition?
 

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
well, it was a bit pricey... how do you feel about me dropping $1,225.00 shipped for a vintage original in pretty good wearable condition?
Ed
If you’re happy with it, that’s all that counts. I think the price is in the ball park. I might have tried to get a price reduction for the knits, which in time you get tired of and want to replace them with more accurate ones . Don’t fret that, just crank up your air conditioner and try and enjoy your new purchase in the midst of this crappy heat wave.:)
 

Edward

Well-Known Member
thanks and agreed. I'm quite happy with it and can't stop looking at it. lol! I put it on a couple of times. feels really good. prices of originals has shot way up recently... hard to find one with a reasonable price AND in my size lol!
It does seem to have plenty of life in it. I don't have a wife or girlfriend to blow my money on so I spoil thyself. LOL! if at some point I feel I can justify replacing the knits I will. lets see what this looks like by next year. for now, I await November!
 

Edward

Well-Known Member
Ed
By the way , I forgot to mention that it does look good on you!
Congrats!!
well, maybe I can pick up some dames and go dancin' LOL! part of the impulse buy was my interest in the widow maker. being I have a B-26 identification poster and cruver spotter model seemed appropriate to add an A-2 with a 2nd/22nd patch known for flying Marauders. :cool:

I can't imagine wearing leather in the South Pacific. :eek:
 
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