The Goldsmith A-2 By Headwind Mfg Co

Discussion in 'Reproduction manufacturers' started by Skyhawk, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    848
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I am starting this thread for all the upcoming updates and progress on the Goldsmith project. I am really looking forward to this project. It has been a great pleasure discussing all the aspects of this historic jacket with you all.

    At the present time all of the parts are at the shop and we are awaiting our new batch of Horsehide from the tanners. Once it arrives, we will be making our prototype and then moving on to our pre-order jackets once all the details are nailed down.

    The Horsehide we are working on will be a light russet, 1.2-1.3 mm thick with some nice grain to it. The great thing about having this tanned especially for us is that we will be able to control the color, grain, and finish. The shades of brown are limitless and we can tweak the characteristics until we are happy with the hide.

    Our first run of hide should be done in 2 weeks. Stay tuned for updates...
    Regards,
    Jay
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  2. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

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    1,457
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    Good luck Jay! Looking forward to watching the progress. Sure it'll be a success.
     
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  3. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Well-Known Member

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    375
    Location:
    Sussex
    According to the leather specifications the maximum leather thickness for an A2 jacket is 1.15mm.

    Can the leather be sourced at this thickness or less?

    Good luck with the jacket.
     
  4. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I believe it can. That is what we are aiming for. Under 1.3mm closer to 1.2. But we can try for a max of 1.15mm.
    BTW, do you have a copy of that spec you can post? Was it a spec that was in place by 1931 or did it come later on?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  5. Brettafett

    Brettafett Well-Known Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, there is no actual original Goldsmith jacket to study, only pictures and other similar jackets, from the same or similar period... And as there is often some variance with originals... a little artistic license is to be expected...
     
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  6. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Well-Known Member

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    375
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    Sussex
    The leather specifications and leather test documents were published the Eastman A2 manual in 2012. I am not going to scan
    and post them because of copyright. As far as I can tell the thickness was not changed during the A2 lifetime.

    The manual is still available;
    https://www.eastmanleather.com/type-identification-manual-p-290.html
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/SIGNED-NUM...464660?hash=item5210389fd4:g:hZUAAOSwcj5ZVWPp

    When they specified the jacket they knew what they were doing.

    I quoted the maximum thickness, there was a tolerance allowed for in the thickness.
     
  7. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    848
    Location:
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    Of course every full grain leather will have variance in thickness. What's the tolerance? is it just 1.15 max or is it 1.1 +/- .5? or more? Less? Were there A-2's made with 1.2mm? or thicker leather. I believe the original Knopf A-2 I had was beyond 1.1mm thick for sure. Was tanning and production precise enough in 1931 to guarantee a thickness of 1.15mm max. Did they even use mm or was it inches? Was the conversion correct in the records?
     
  8. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Now confirmed. Just got off the phone with the tanner.
    we got 1.1mm with some variance going up to 1.15 to, at the very thickest 1.2mm.

    Regards,
    Jay
     
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  9. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    Aren't these US Gov't documents? They're not Eastman's intellectual property, so there shouldn't be an issue if you take out any original Eastman content.
     
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  10. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    848
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    I had thought that the original specs documents had not been located yet. I know a forum member has been searching them out without success. With the industry standard being 1.1 to 1.2mm we will go with that thickness regardless.
     
  11. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    375
    Location:
    Sussex
    The original document is in inches, I converted to mm to compare with your leather thickness.
    Minimum 0.635, maximum 1.15mm. It would make sense to use a thickness and tolerance that could be achieved.

    I ain't takin'no chances. Litigation or not I might want to buy an Eastman jacket one day, blacklisted!

    Yes but I don't expect them to be any different.
    Take a look at this prototype jacket and notice how the pocket flap is stuffed into the pocket and folded over. How thin? How soft?
    The same type of jacket was worn by Hoyt and Spatz, I guess they would have given the jackets plenty of hard wear.


    Harry A. Johnson.jpeg

    It would be interesting if a jacket were made of the right thickness leather just to see how good they really are.
     
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  12. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    That's Lt. Harry Johnson in the no-epp, no-snap, and apparently, no-contract "Pre-Goldy." (What I call the XA-2. Might've been made by Goldy, might not have been.)

    As to thinness/softness, I speculated earlier that these might have been as likely cape as horse, but was dismissed with certitude.

    (Did this jacket even have a collar stand? If it did, it looks like a partial one, which comes to points on either end where it curves down into the neckline.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  13. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Well-Known Member

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    375
    Location:
    Sussex
    I was thinking along the lines that for a replacement to the A1 capeskin was a known quantity and hence no need to test it.
    But if capeskin was used in the test jacket then it would be necessary to test horse hide in another jacket before going to production grade.
    Or maybe several jackets made of different hides.

    If several prototype jackets were made then would it not be likely that there was a contract between the
    maker and the gov.? Could this explain the number 30-1415
     
  14. Officer Dibley

    Officer Dibley Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    545
    Location:
    UK
    Once you go above 1.2-ish mm, all you get is greater skid resistance and a lot more weight and stiffness to have to endure. At least that's how i see it. And the location of the bits of hide also affect the skid resistance. At least according to motorcycle leathers makers. Expensive leathers are thinner and tougher than poorer cuts that may be thicker. The animal also makes a difference i think as kangeroo is soft, light and tough and makes great m/c gloves. But you all know that .
     
  15. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    2,420
    Location:
    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    Anything's possible. But a lot depends on which batch you call the test batch - these mystery XA-2s, or the epauletted, putative 31-1897s.

    That's the drawing number, ie, it's for a design document. And one yet to be found.
     
  16. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    848
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Yeah interesting jacket. The pocket and collar are different than the Goldy and no rivet at the bottom of the zip. Reminds me of what A.G. Spalding was doing at the time. They had the practice of installing the early Hookless Zippers without installing the rivets. They just sewed them in.

    A.G. Spalding & Bros made test jackets for the A-1 jacket program, and a whole ton of gear for the US Air Corps. Leather flight helmets and other gear. Why not submit a test for the A-2?

    I believe these jackets were preliminary test jackets for the A-2 program. The details were finalized after these jackets were assessed. They added the epaulets and finalized the hide choice as Horsehide. Maybe they required the zips to be riveted as well at this time as well.

    If they conducted the testing like the A-1 program, there would have been submissions from several companies. They could have used a few different leathers like the A-1 test program in which Capeskin, and Calfskin were used.

    I don't dismiss your idea that this jacket could possibly be Capeskin. The graining on the front between the pockets is certainly similar to Capeskin. Also whether the hide is Horsehide or capeskin it looks very soft in the way it is draping. I agree it is either thin Horsehide or Capeskin.

    Regards,
    Jay
     
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  17. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this is the "contract" that Willis & Geiger once made so much hay off of! :rolleyes:
    (wouldn't it be a laugh if one turned up lined in battleship grey rayon like their 80s A-2s...it was in common use before 1930...)
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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  18. Skip

    Skip Well-Known Member

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    That’s a very important point Brett, without an original to go on in any contract it’s a very difficult thing to get the patterns etc 100% accurate
     
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  19. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

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    There can't be any 100%. Even with just one original in hand, it would at best be 90-odd% - with certain components not changing in size as the pattern gets bigger or smaller, or made of/colored/attached like a replacement, and so on and so forth.
     
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  20. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Well-Known Member

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    375
    Location:
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    I mean that there maybe more to the number than just a drawing. There is at least a specification with this number. Could there be a contract
    with this number used to build the prototype A2?
     

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