TYPE A-1 Dateline

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by Ken at Aero Leather, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    In this shot, the jacket on the right has a bigger pocket than the A-1 on the left. It appears like the pocket may not extend all the way to the knit. Not 100% sure though.
    A1_SAT_Group.jpg
     
  2. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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  3. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
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    Yes he very nice photos of his jackets. Outstanding display of the details.

    I don't understand. We attach our pockets over the waist stitching and don't sew through the liner. Couldn't it have been done in the 1920's?
    Cape-Pockets.jpg
     
  4. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Getting back on track here. Here is an early photo of one of an A-1 with A-2 style pockets:
    Different_A1_Pockets.jpg

    Also appears to have 6 main buttons, just one button loop on the collar, and snaps at the waist

    Regards,
    Jay
     
  5. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    So what does the inside of your A-1 look like behind the pocket at the waist
     
  6. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
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    Here is the inside, a civilian version but the same pockets, our G&F has no inside pocket and is a different color:
    Cape-Inside.jpg
     
  7. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
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    Check it out! The liner goes all the way OVER the collar knit.

    Weird!
     
  8. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Jay
    Re The pockets
    I see now from your liner pics how you do it but, seriously, you must know that no commercial operation would do have done it like that, I'm assuming you hand tack the untopstitched section of the lining to the knit as the topstitch on the outside obviously doesn't go all the way along the waistband but stops and restarts under the pocket. 9 out of 10 for ingenuity though
    There is only one possible way a pocket like this could have been fitted and would have been done and John Chapman's A-1 liner pics clearly illustrate that way.

    I can imagine it's a really fiddly operation fitting the pockets your way?
     
  9. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
    Location:
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    Interesting and thanks for the insight. I am sure that John's method is one way they did it. I have always known him to be spot on with the details. Was it the only way it was done, not sure. I don't think we could be 100% sure unless we opened up some of the originals. Problem is, that they don't exist.

    Have you seen the photo I posted before? Quite an interesting A-1 jacket.
     
  10. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, Jay there is no way to do it other than the one on GW's site.
    Out of interested I had a look to see how ELC did his and found he's got an original pictured showing the same "aftermarket" method of pocket attachment https://www.eastmanleather.com/type-contract-31-800p-p-162.html
    If the pocket covers the topstitch that's how it was done in the 1920s.
    I've not seen the original pic in post #44 before, that's much more like a British way of finishing off a knitted collar, without the insignia and setting I'd have guessed at a British version
     
  11. 33-1729

    33-1729 Active Member

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    Post #34 pretty much covers all I’ve been able to reliably confirm about the A-1 with a paper trail. It is pretty thin.

    Consider the Air Corps Act of 1926 was a five year plan to expand up to 1,650 officers (not all pilots), but was unable to reach that goal. Compare that with the 25-Group Program of 1939 that called for 50,000 men (12,000 pilots). There just weren’t that many A-1’s made from 1927-31, so maybe they only used the two manufacturers in post #34 and the primary differences we see are only between them and the contracts they had.

    Looking at period leather jackets of the time a number of them looked like an A-1 without pockets. Maybe manufacturers made civilian versions, as the Air Corps wasn’t building as quickly as thought, and tacked on pockets for the military when needed instead of having two production flows. Who knows? Just another theory.

    I think it is a good argument about tacking on pockets to a finished jacket as not being the way to make a production line, but there may have been other circumstances we are not aware. Or sometimes people just do the darnedest things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
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  12. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    It would be great if you've any links to these pocketless jackets

    Your first theory would have been good were it not for the fact, had that been the case, these jackets would not have had AC labels and a makers label of that period would almost certainly been bigger than the tiny AC label so any swapping of labels would have been pretty obvious.

    As to "other circumstances" I've been trying for years to come up with any other set of circumstances that could have let to the addition of pockets to a completed garment.

    Your input however is of the kind I'd hope for when I started the thread.

    In case anyone thinks this is some kind of research for a new Aero A-1, that's never going to happen. There's no way we'd fit the pockets the historically (or is it histrionically?) correct way for the jacket we describe for sake of argument in this thread as the 2nd issue.
     
  13. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Here is another method we have used on some jackets. "Many ways to skin a cat." I concur that the method may have started sewn though, for possibly the reasons stated. Did they continue to be sewn through throughout all the contracts? I don't think we can be 100% sure.
    P1040125.JPG

    Here is the full Picture of the Squadron. Definitely USAC. All patch placements are correct. I would say "Unknown Contract" A-1 in this context.

    Jim_Connally1.jpg
     
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  14. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    There were at least three government contractors for A-1 jackets. Pritzker and Gordon and Ferguson have already been mentioned, by Mirabelli Bros. Co. has not. They were awarded AC2486 in the 1928 fiscal year, so an early contract.
     
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  15. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    713
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    Oh Sh*t! It's the lost Mirabelli contract. Here we go again!
    Different_A1_Pockets.jpg

    Just kidding! Isn't there photos of the Mirabelli somewhere? Or was that just speculation?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
  16. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

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    Mirabelli Bros. had a checkered history, mired as they were in litigation and accusations of plagiarism/passing off another company’s jacket design as their own, I believe.
    A butchered Mirabelli A-1 was sold on EBay several years ago.
     
  17. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

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    Wrong pocket flaps for a Mirabelli...
     
  18. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Jay

    Re your second jacket
    The top stitch above the waistband is either fully cosmetic (i.e. for show only) or only catches one side of the jersey, I'm guessing the second.
     
  19. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

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    Jacket 2nd from right back row does not have the pocket sewn on top of the waistband top stitch, It's placed more like an A-2
     
  20. Skyhawk

    Skyhawk Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    This is the full image that Blow up photo came from.
    Yes that's the one. wonder who made it? Contract jacket or not. It's definitely unique. I haven't seen the liner sewn over the inside collar on another A-1.
     

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