• Hey guys, I had to upgrade the VLJ software because the old one is being phased out. Please let me know of any issues in the SITE UPDATE THREAD. Thanks!

The Goldsmith A-2 By Headwind Mfg Co

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
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:

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
Horsehide we are working on will be a light russet, 1.2-1.3 mm thick
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.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
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:

Brettafett

Well-Known Member
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...
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
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?
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-NUMBERED-EASTMAN-TYPE-A-2-FLIGHT-JACKET-US-AAF-WW2-REFERENCE-BOOK-MINT/352459464660?hash=item5210389fd4:g:hZUAAOSwcj5ZVWPp

a little artistic license is to be expected
When they specified the jacket they knew what they were doing.

And as there is often some variance with originals.
I quoted the maximum thickness, there was a tolerance allowed for in the thickness.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
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?
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
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
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
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.
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.
 

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
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.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
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?
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.

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

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.
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.
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
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:

2BM2K

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

no-contract "Pre-Goldy."
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
 

Officer Dibley

Well-Known Member
It would be interesting if a jacket were made of the right thickness leather just to see how good they really are.
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 .
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
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.
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.

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

Skyhawk

Well-Known Member
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.)
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
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
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:

Skip

Well-Known Member
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...
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
 

zoomer

Well-Known Member
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.
 

2BM2K

Well-Known Member
That's the drawing number, ie, it's for a design document. And one yet to be found.
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?
 

Attachments

Members online

Latest posts

Top