ORIGINAL COOPER A2 SIZE 40-1941 contract

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by Roughwear, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Cooper Sportswear was founded in 1910 in Brooklyn, by the father of Morton Cooper, who was chairman of the board in the 1980s. In the 1930s the firm made sheepskin and leather garments. So yes there does appear to be a strong family link between the wartime manufacturer and the 1980s firm.
     
  2. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    I'm sure it's in the 'Hell Bent for Leather' book at the back end where repro's are mentioned, that todays Cooper (at the time that book was published obviously) was one and the same company, hence my original comment!

    Cheers
    Wayne
     
  3. deeb7

    deeb7 New Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Here's Wiki FWIW ...

    • Contrary to popular belief, Avirex wasn't a supplier for the A-2 jacket to the U.S.A.F. in the World War II era. Avirex started out in 1975 and since 2006 is known as 'The Cockpit USA Inc.' In a similar way, Neil Cooper USA (recently[when?] taken over by Ohio-based U.S. Wings) is not the same firm as Cooper Sportswear from World War II times - even though Neil Cooper's grandfather headed the earlier company, and both had contracts to supply A-2 jackets to the US military in their respective eras. Likewise, the Scottish-made Aero Leather Clothing branded items of today are unrelated to Aero Leather Clothing of Beacon, NY.
     
  4. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Correct Wayne. :) The point I'm making is that there was a clear family link even though the 1980s outfit was not the same firm. Of course this was not the case with the original US Aero firm and modern Scottish Aero.
     
  5. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member


    Even this extract confirms the family link.
     
  6. deeb7

    deeb7 New Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Yes, but I'm not convinced that it was the same, or a closely related company, Andrew ... RCS tells us the Neil Cooper didn't even manufacture.
     
  7. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I'm talking about Morton Cooper as the family link rather than Neil Cooper. Here is what John Chapman has to say about the firm.


    The 1940s firm was based in Newark N.J. In 1988 Cooper Sportswear was located in Newark and won a government contract for 53,000 A-2 jackets for the USAF. Morton Cooper says his company drew up its own patterns from an original A-2 jacket, but made the jacket slightly fuller than the old A2s.
     
  8. deeb7

    deeb7 New Member

    Messages:
    5,554
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    This quote from Neil Cooper, there's a gap of over 40 years in the history.

    • Neil Cooper USA

      The Cooper family has a long tradition of making superbly functional and distinctive jackets in the finest quality leather. From 1917-1918, my grandfather made raincoats for the Army, and from 1941-1945 he continuously made the original and revised Field Jackets. In World War II he made leather A-2 jackets for the Army/Air Corps. From 1988-1997, my father, uncle and I made US Navy G-1 and US Air Force A-2 leather flight jackets that have been worn by thousands of pilots and ground crew.

      In 1996 Cooper Sportswear was awarded a contract from the DSCP in Philadelphia Pennsylvania to redesign the A-2 jacket to be more functional and to improve the fit. Side entry pockets were added directly to the patch pockets and inside wallet pockets were added. The fit was enlarged and underarm grommets were added for ventilation. Thus, the collaboration with the US Air Force and Cooper Sportswear created the current military spec A-2.
     
  9. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Yep, the original firm appears to have closed in the 1940s and the successor family firm started up in the 1980s.
     
  10. RCSignals

    RCSignals New Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Location:
    Oregon
    That whole garment industry seems to have a convoluted and intertwined history
     
  11. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Absolutely! :)
     
  12. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

  13. SuinBruin

    SuinBruin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,148
    Location:
    NoCal
    :eek: :cry: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:
     
  14. crazyace

    crazyace New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    North Eastern U.S.
    Why would he put the shoulder decal on an original jacket that didn`t have one in the first place?
     
  15. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,607
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Hmmm...

    I asked the vendor about the decal - whether it was original to the jacket. He replied:

    Hi,
    The decal looks pretty contemporary, flaking and cracked and is darker than appears on the pictures. It was on the jacket when I acquired it and looks really good.
    Cheers Jim...

    Something doesn't appear to add up...
     
  16. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The decal is contemporary to 2012 not 1942! :eek: When I sold the Cooper to the seller it did not have a decal. So make of this what you will. Perhaps the postman added it to the jacket! :lol: :lol:
     
  17. crazyace

    crazyace New Member

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    North Eastern U.S.
    Didn`t the decal show up on re-dyed or re-issued jacked later towards war end? Although I have seen them on the cloth jackets after the A-2 stopped production.
     
  18. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Yes they did on re-sprayed and later war jackets, but not on this Cooper except in 2012! ;)
     
  19. Peter Graham

    Peter Graham Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,275
    Location:
    Ireland
    Me too. He said that it was on the jacket when he got it.
     
  20. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The seller's lack of transparency over the decal may not have helped the bids as the jacket did not meet its reserve.
     

Share This Page