Buttoned Pocket Flaps A-2 Jackets

Discussion in 'Vintage' started by 33-1729, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The jacket in Gary's book is a SAT in my opinion. It has all the same details as the one "The Art of the Flight Jacket". When Gary's jacket was refurbished the original label was retained and re-applied to the lining. I very much doubt if an air depot retained labels (presumably from jackets that were beyond repair) to put in other ones! In the mean time I will carry on looking for pictures of labelled SAT A2s.
     
  2. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    I was thinking the US may have purchased replacement linings from SAT that may have been used in any A-2 repair, so the label shows the manufacturer of the lining replacement, but not necessarily the manufacturer of the jacket. (The SAT replacement lining is white, not the original tan, so they were likely manufactured at a different time and, I suspect, for a different purpose.) With that said I don't know for certain, so an all original A-2 with a label makes it a standard reference for me. Still not certain about the others until we find some clearly identifying features.

    Anyway you look at it, an all original and labeled SAT 32-485 is very rare. So far, we've only had one posted in that condition (thanks again!).
     
  3. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I have not seen A2s relined in white cotton before. It may have been done later in the War when it was re-dyed and the shoulder decal applied. Why they did not use the standard tobacco brown lining material is anyone's guess. At least the label was reapplied.
     
  4. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Except for the jacket in Mr Eastman's book, I haven't seen an A-2 with a white re-liner either. Not certain if the label was reapplied or already on the white replacement liner before it was sewn in. SAT replacement liners, coming with or without a label already installed, are probably even rarer than an original jacket.
     
  5. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Looking at the stitching the label was machine stitched to the lining before it was fitted to the jacket.
     
  6. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Great observation. Not being a tailor, I don't know if that implies a SAT made replacement with a fixed label or by an owner with an admirable tailor for a crisp white lining.
     
  7. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    The jacket was most likely relined in a USAAF air depot as the lining is the same spec used on issued A-2s. All A-2 labels were machine sewn on to the lining before the lining was sewn in the jackets.
     
  8. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
    Here are a couple of photos of early jackets that look a bit different to a SAT jacket.

    I estimate that photo #1 is from 1931 or 1932, the Boeing P12 went out of service in 1932
    and Hap arnold was made base commander of March Field in 1931.

    In the the photo are Hap Arnold, Bebe Daniels and Ben Lyon. I cannot make out the name of the pilot.
    In theory it should be possible to find the exact date of the occassion, maybe from newspaper records.
    However this might prove too difficult a task.


    Of the jacket;
    The photo is not very clear but the zipper box looks to be quite wide with an extra piece of
    leather. A similar construction to the later Fried Ostermann A2 jacket. Also the pocket on the windflap
    side looks closer to the centre compared with a SAT jacket.

    Photo #1 Original Size;

    4727960484.jpg

    Photo #1 Enlarged;

    p12_a2.jpg


    Photo #1 Jacket details;

    biggest.jpg


    Photo #2; there are no details for this but does look to be early.
    The pilot looks to be the same one in photo #1.

    Of the jacket I cannot see a shoulder seam.

    Photo #2 Original size;

    8068646872.jpg


    Photo #2 Enhanced;

    head2.jpg



    Photo #3 is of Ross G Hoyt. The inscription states that the photo
    was taken in 1932 when he was CO of 17th Pursuit Squadron, Selfridge Field.

    He was a very high profile officer, just the sort of person to be an early recipient
    of an A2 jacket.

    The jacket is very similar in appearence to that in photo #1.

    was taken in 1932 when he was CO of 17th Pursuit Squadron, Selfridge Field.

    He was a very high profile officer, just the sort of person to be an early recipient
    of an A2 jacket.

    The jacket is very similar in appearence to that in photo #1.

    hoyt.jpg
     
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  9. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    This a fascinating stuff. The early A2 with the naval style wide zipper box may just be one of the 25 made by P. Goldsmith and Sons from their 1931 contract. It is not a feature associated with Werber or SAT.

    I have found out some information on this firm.

    Philip Goldsmith immigrated to the United States from Austria in 1861. In 1869, He opened a toy store iIn Covington, KY where he bought toy dolls from Wolf Fletcher, owner of a small manufacturing and repair shop. In 1875 Goldsmith closed his business and became partners with Fletcher in his manufacturing operation. During slack times, Fletcher was in the habit of hand making baseballs from left over materials to make ends meet. They patented a baseball winding machine in 1876 and began to expand their sporting goods business. The partnership ended in 1878 with each starting their own competing businesses just blocks apart. Goldsmith continued to make dolls, baseballs and other athletic goods and became highly successful. His business went through a few name changes and locations in Covington, but was known as P.Goldsmith & Co. by 1890. Philip’s sons Oscar and Alfred became partners in the business in 1893, and a year later Philip died by drowning . The sons carried on with the sporting goods business and eliminated doll manufacturing. Alfred soon sold his partnership interest to another brother, Edgar. Their youngest brother, Hugo became a partner in 1906, the business name changed to P. Goldsmith & Sons Co., and they moved to a larger facility across the river in Cincinnati.

    GoldSmith & Sons tried mightily to get into the uniform market in the early 1900's and 1910's. They did become a presence in the evolving baseball glove market. Hugo turned out to be a manufacturing genius with many patents to his credit. He stabilized a notoriously seasonal industry by carrying 700 different products for every season and sport. In the throes of the Great Depression he bought out two struggling sporting goods companies, Draper Maynard and in 1936, Crawford McGregor & Canby Co. which made the popular MacGregor golf clubs and equipment. Attempting to boost their small share of the baseball market, in 1946 GoldSmith added the prestigious MacGregor name to their products and became known as MacGregor GoldSmith. The 1940’s was the peak of their cap making for major league teams. By 1953 the GoldSmith name was dropped entirely and the company was simply called MacGregor. By the end of the 1950’s, no MLB teams were using their caps; MacGregor jerseys remained popular into the 1960's. MacGregor-labelled caps re-appeared on MLB fields again briefly, when they acquired Sports Specialties in 1986 before selling it in 1987.

    Here are some pictures from a large promotional booklet regarding the MacGregor Goldsmith company.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Active Member

    Messages:
    766
    As a kid growing up during the 1950's and 1960's in the US, MacGregor was a major sports equipment manufacturer.
    Baseball gloves, uniform jersey's, baseballs, jackets. Most kids owned some piece of sporting equipment made by them.
    How fascinating to find out that the founders of the original company were connected with the development of the A2 jacket.
    Outstanding research gentlemen!
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2017
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  11. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    This MacGregor Sportswear was not the same company that made Doniger A-2s. They were McGregor Sportswear!
     
  12. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Active Member

    Messages:
    766
    Andrew
    Thanks for pointing that out.
    As I understand your post however, the MacGregor Co did have a direct lineage from the P.Goldsmith & Sons Co, who we have recently learned supplied (25) A2 jackets under the P.Goldsmith & Sons label, all of which is independent of the Doniger A2's which were made by McGregor Sportswear.
    Did I understand that correctly?

    Cheers
    B-Man2
     
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  13. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Correct B-Man2. Yes the two names are so similar and both made sportswear. I just wanted to mention there were two different firms, and MacGregor, was the one which was associated with P. Goldsmith.
     
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  14. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Active Member

    Messages:
    766
    Andrew
    Got it!
    Thanks
     
  15. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
    Found another photo of March Field, this time from the cover of a book;

    718sP.jpg
     
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  16. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
    Enhanced version, this must be a Goldsmith jacket;

    march3.jpg
     
  17. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Quite likely, but one would need to see a labelled example to be sure.
     
  18. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sussex
    The pilot is Carl Spaatz !!
     
  19. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Yes, Maj. Spaatz is written on the photo.
     
  20. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Active Member

    Messages:
    221
    I'm surprised nobody has questioned the European style piped button holes?
    1. They are ugly
    2. Their use was, and still is, VERY rare in USA
    3. They don't preform well, they tend to unravel, especially if they aren't top stiched around the edges and the Air Corps ones aren't.
    4. They are timeconsuming and tricky/fiddly to sew and hard to match from one to the next
    5. Every leather shop in USA seemed to have Reece (or similar) button hole machine in those days, 10 seconds for a perfect button hole as opposed to 3 to 4 minutes for an inferior button hole

    My theory........
    There was a misunderstanding of the term "Leather Faced" by the early contractors
    If I had read the spec back in 1930, I'd have read that as" leather backing to pocket flap", as opposed to a cloth backing, quite common in the 1920s. We'd have backed the flaps in leather and used our Button Hole machine!
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017

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