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Original mint A-1

B-Man2

Well-Known Member
Well if he thinks that’s original, then someone should tell him he’s underpriced his jacket we wouldn't want the poor guy to get fleeced, would we?
 

fleet16b

Active Member
I recall years ago on the page , someone posted a picture of an original A1 that was reputed to be the only one in existence . The subject in this thread is obviously a repro but are there more out there than the one I mention ?
 

33-1729

Well-Known Member
I recall years ago on the page , someone posted a picture of an original A1 that was reputed to be the only one in existence . The subject in this thread is obviously a repro but are there more out there than the one I mention ?
The “meant to deceive” fake A-1 that caused so much commotion had a label of the Mirabelli Bros. Co. in size 50 (!!!) and drawing 074737 (That drawing number is incorrect and taken from a Type Designation Sheet known to have a few errors based upon the declassified and released A-2 spec documents in 2017, among other documents.) The A-1 drawing number is AN-6501 and while it had revision changes the reference document number does not change.

Mr. Eastman has a paper trail to identify only two A-1 production manufacturers and they are Gordon & Ferguson, Inc. (St. Paul., Minn.) and A. Pritzker Co. (Boston, Mass.). The company of Guiterman Bros. (St. Paul, Minn.) supplied test samples in 1927 and was purchased by Gordon & Ferguson in 1928/29. I know of no other A-1 manufacturers that can be documented by a paper trail.

None of the three (3) different Aero companies we generally speak about existed when the A- 1 was being manufactured so an Aero Leathers of Scotland reproduction may be a possibility, but certainly not Aero Clothing & Tanning of Brooklyn nor Aero Leather Clothing Co. of Beacon.
 

joeson

Member
Marvins-jp.com has one for sale at around £10,000 that has been heavily restored and has an Air Associates label in it that may have come from a flight suit.I'm not sure on the authenticity.I think Bob Chatt at Vintage Productions may have a real one.
 

John Lever

Moderator
Marvins-jp.com has one for sale at around £10,000 that has been heavily restored and has an Air Associates label in it that may have come from a flight suit.I'm not sure on the authenticity.I think Bob Chatt at Vintage Productions may have a real one.
Derek at Lewis Leathers has some civi British 1920's ones. He showed them to me some years ago.
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
The “meant to deceive” fake A-1 that caused so much commotion had a label of the Mirabelli Bros. Co. in size 50 (!!!) and drawing 074737 (That drawing number is incorrect and taken from a Type Designation Sheet known to have a few errors based upon the declassified and released A-2 spec documents in 2017, among other documents.)
Do you think the Mirabelli A-1 label itself was faked? Artificially aged to near unreadability perhaps? Was there ever an order W535-AC-2486?

Here it is, along with a fake-up I did for readability.
8374732873_5a70b14c20_o.jpg
 
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Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
Marvins-jp.com has one for sale at around £10,000 that has been heavily restored and has an Air Associates label in it that may have come from a flight suit.I'm not sure on the authenticity.I think Bob Chatt at Vintage Productions may have a real one.
That jacket is not an A-1. It is actually a civilian flight jacket. We discussed it in the past a few times. a quote from me last year:


Jul 4, 2018

That jacket is an Air Associates civilian model. I researched that one for a project. It is talked about in detail here:
http://vintageleatherjackets.org/threads/new-custom-project-torpedo-run-air-associates-reproduction.20620/#post-193650

The jacket pictures were taken in a Japanese vintage store and it was selling for over 1,000000 yen from what I remember. I believe the photos were posted by a member over at the FL. He was either there or a friend was.

Recently I have discovered that they got the knits wrong when they were replaced. The collar was actually a 37J1 style collar with no snap on the original jacket. You can tell by screenshots from the movie "Torpedo Run" that the jacket was used in.

The jacket can be dated to 1935 at the earliest by the original unique swirl style casein buttons on it. George Morrell has the patent for those buttons registered in 1935.

Regards,
Jay
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
Mirabelli Bros. did make uniforms in Elizabeth, NJ, til at least 1940, when they expanded into larger facilities in Neptune City, NJ.

A Facebooker on the Suit Up! group claims Mirabelli submitted a fraudulent bid for an M-422 contract by somehow acquiring a prototype jacket made by Willis & Geiger and relabeling it as their own! The company was banned from bidding on Navy contracts thereafter, altho a successor firm led by one brother, Mario Mirabelli, got a contract for M-450 helmets during the war.
 
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33-1729

Well-Known Member
Do you think the Mirabelli A-1 label itself was faked? Artificially aged to near unreadability perhaps? Was there ever an order W535-AC-2486?

Here it is, along with a fake-up I did for readability.View attachment 18988
Hi Zoomer! My apologies for the delayed response. I was traveling and also had a chance to check out “American Classics” and “The Real McCoy’s” shops in London. Great looking items.

Yes, I originally thought the Mirabelli Bros. Co. A-1 jacket was authentic, but after learning a lot more from digging through archives, declassifying related documents, reading all I can get my hands on, and knowledge of government contracts it clearly is a “meant to deceive” fake A-1 label. It’s not about any one item, but because of way too many inconsistencies compared to known genuine labels. I’ll just list a handful below for those interested, but there are others. I can’t speak to the authenticity of the jacket itself, but given the attached fake label I would assume a fake/altered jacket until proven otherwise by direct inspection.

A couple big inconsistencies are about the label dimensions and contents. These would be spec’ed parameters and absolute requirements. Consistency is key – KISS. Note all known genuine A-1 jackets have a standard sized label and contents. This is true for the A-2, B-10, etc.

For a genuine A-1 label (and first three A-2 contract labels) the dimensions are less than 1”x2” (the subsequent A-2 label is less than 2”x2”), but the Mirabelli label is an odd size.

For a genuine A-1 label (and first three A-2 contract labels) the contents are (1st line) Type, (2nd line) Drawing Number, and (3rd line) A.C. Order Number (the subsequent A-2 label use the same first three lines through Aero order number 40-3785P, then the contract number may also be used), but the Mirabelli label lists an order number but writes a contract number instead: A gross error. In addition, the A-1 label (and all A-2 labels) have a separate size tag, but the Mirabelli label has the size on the tag for another inconsistency.

Besides these glaring inconsistencies, the drawing number for an A-1 is always AN-6501 (the A-2 drawing number is always 30-1415). Updates or revisions to the drawing do not change the drawing number. KISS again – have to be able to easily find it. The A-1 is in the 1944 “Illustrated Catalog” by drawing number AN6501 (as is the A-2 under 30-1415). The drawing number on the Mirabelli label is 074737 and is taken from a post-war Type Designation Sheet, proven to have a number of errors. Nowhere else has the erroneous A-1 drawing number been listed.

The Mirabelli A-1 label has artificial aging. Note the letters are worn off, but the thread color is pristine. The aging is clearly faked.

Anyway, too many inconsistencies. And I’ll stop with just the obvious ones.

P.S. The contract listed on the Mirabelli label is W535 A.C. 2486, dating it from FY 1929 to FY 1930. If I find the actual contract I’ll post it.
 
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zoomer

Well-Known Member
A-ha!!! Thanks to the dear old jungle telephone, no one knew that that spec sheet was postwar, thus even more likely wrong. And I couldn’t tell distressed bright thread from a photograph...what’d they do, hold it up to a buffing wheel?
 
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