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ORIGINAL COOPER A2 SIZE 40-1941 contract

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
The W535 ac-23381 contract dates to late 1941. It is one of the rarest of A-2s from the small contract awarded to Cooper Sportswear, of Newark, New Jersey. This A-2 has a number of interesting details, such as the label, which is largely identical in shape and typeface to those from Rough Wear's 23380 contract, and also the use of a style of Conmar zipper, often found on Tanker jackets. The thread, also like many Rough Wear jackets, is a light green and tan in colour.

I bought this jacket for display rather than to wear and although I can get it on it is trim and I prefer a more generous fit in an A-2. Everything is original on the jacket apart from the wristlets. The hh exhibits areas of significant grain and overall has developed a great vintage patina. I know Stony here used to own a size 40 and CBI has my size 44 via John Chapman. Here are a few pics.















 

Stony

Well-Known Member
Nice jacket and great to see another original Cooper out there.

I know Stony here used to own a size 40
I did and the pilot was a spotter for an Army unit and it came with lots of extras in the group. I sold the extras to a military collector and I sold the Cooper to Gary Eastman.
 

Persimmon

Well-Known Member
Roughwear said:
Thanks chaps. Two sizes larger in this condition would be perfect!
That means it is perfect for us smaller guys who wear the size 40 then !!

I notice the pockets are set slightly higher than some other contracts.
Was this a Cooper characteristic ?

It starts to look a little like the Navy A1
 

johnwayne

Well-Known Member
Nice jacket Andrew, pity modern day Cooper's can't emulate that quality - of all the current makers those if anyone you would have thought could/should!!
Interested you bought it for display - are you opening a jacket museum at your house then - you have the quantity and maker variety to be able to!!!

cheers
Wayne
 

deand

Active Member
I'm pleased to see the higher pockets, as my pro-tech A-2 repro has rather high pockets, which even though I think are innaccurate, nonetheless, it's still nice to know some contracts did have high pockets.


dean
 

Roughwear

Well-Known Member
Dean the pockets on this Cooper are higher than on any other original contracts that I own. They remind me of Eastman pockets on all their A2s! On John's CD there is are pictures of Stony's Cooper and the pockets are almost as high as on this one.
 

deeb7

New Member
johnwayne said:
Nice jacket Andrew, pity modern day Cooper's can't emulate that quality - of all the current makers those if anyone you would have thought could/should!!
I don't recall ever seeing evidence of the connection between the two companies ... perhaps Neil Cooper was no more than another Aero of Scotland.
 

RCSignals

New Member
There was a direct connection. Contact David Hack at US Wings he will tell you all about it

What isn't clear is if the Cooper company ever had their own factory. The later years anyway seem to have had Schott manufacture most if not all of their jackets.

Did Cooper make other military clothing during WW2?
 

deeb7

New Member
RCSignals said:
There was a direct connection. Contact David Hack at US Wings he will tell you all about it.
I don't want to go to that much trouble, but I'm guessing he would have a story, now that he owns the company.

... and no, I don't recall seeing any other WW11 Cooper contracts.
 

CBI

Well-Known Member
Didn't US Wings take over the Neil Cooper Co. not too many years ago. Neil's grandfather headed the WW2 era Cooper Sportswear - something like this I think. Family relation but no direct business relation?
 

RCSignals

New Member
CBI said:
Didn't US Wings take over the Neil Cooper Co. not too many years ago. Neil's grandfather headed the WW2 era Cooper Sportswear - something like this I think. Family relation but no direct business relation?
Yes US Wings bought out Neil Cooper, but according to the story I have been told there was direct lineage in the Cooper company although there may have been one or more slight corporate name changes.
 
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