Original Maker A2, Who Makes Them Now?

Discussion in 'Repros' started by 33-1729, May 22, 2017.

  1. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Using various sources the A2 contracts are compiled along with re-manufacturers making current examples. Gary Eastman's reference book "Type A-2 Flight Jacket Identification Manual" is highly recommended. All production estimates are from Mr Eastman's book.

    What's included?
    • List includes government contracts with a paper trail and/or known survivor(s). For examples, no paper trail exists for a 38-205 contract and an example has not been located so it is not included. The Australian V505 is unique in that no paper trail has been found to provide details on the contract (if there was one), but examples exist so added.

    What's not included?
    • A contract that is no longer produced by the re-manufacturer is not included. Examples are past annual versions by Buzz Ricksons and out-of-business Real McCoy's Of New Zealand products (the different in-business Japan company of the same name is listed).
    • List does not included jackets made like an original maker contract, but using the re-manufacturer company name. For example, the Good Wear Leather Coat Co. Chapman 42-18776P that is based upon the I. Spiewak & Sons A2.
    Observations
    • All of the pre war A-2 are small productions, usually made of horse hide (the first known bovine example is from the 39-2951P contract), and of the lighter russett seal brown color.
    • The existence of an original maker A-2 with spun silk lining has not been confirmed and a copy of the spec has been requested from the US government in hopes it will shed light onto why (perhaps the at-the-time lower priced cotton was listed somewhere in the spec as an acceptable substitute - will post what's found when able).
    • Mr Chapman of Good Wear Leather Coat Co. has, by far, the most diverse offering, but as a one man shop patience is required.

    Pre War "Standard Issue"
    Contract Nos._Order Nos.__Order Date__Quantity____Original Maker [Re-manufacturer*]

    ______________32-485_________________<500**____ Security Aviation Togs [GW, RMC]
    ______________33-1729________________<500**____ Werber Leather Coat Co., Inc. [ELC, GW]
    W535ac 6213____ 34-518P______5-Sep-33_____~170***___ Werber Leather Coat Co., Inc.
    W535ac 8004____36-1112P_____13-Sep-35_____550______Werber Leather Coat Co., Inc. [GW]
    W535ac 9193____ 37-1119P_____11-Sep-36_____~620***___Werber Leather Coat Co., Inc.
    _____________ 37-3061P________________<500**_____Aero Clothing and Tanning Co.
    W535ac 9709____ 37-3891P_____3-Mar-37_____375______H.L.B. Corp. [ELC, GW]
    W535ac 10490___ 38-1711P_____26-Oct-37____1,500______Aero Leather Clothing Co. [ALC, GW]
    W535ac 12091___ 39-2951P_____ 9-Jan-39____1,250______Werber Sportswear Co. [GW]

    War "Standard Issue"
    Contract Nos._Order Nos.__Order Date__Quantity___Original Maker [Re-manufacturer*]

    W535ac 13911___40-3785P_____18-Dec-39_____3,500_____Aero Leather Clothing Co. [ALC, GW]
    W535ac 16159_______________2-Nov-40_____9,700_____Rough Wear Clothing Co. [ELC, TF]
    W535ac 16160_______________1-Nov-40_____4,500_____Aero Leather Clothing Co. [BKM, GW]
    W535ac 18091_______________6-Mar-41____ 17,628_____Rough Wear Clothing Co. [GW]
    W535ac 20958__42-1401P______8-Aug-41____30,000_____Rough Wear Clothing Co. [ELC, GW]
    W535ac 20959__42-1402P______8-Aug-41_____7,000_____Werber Sportswear Co. [BKM, GW]
    W535ac 20960__42-1403P______8-Aug-41____13,000_____J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co. [GW]
    W535ac 21035__42-1671P______15-Aug-41_____~300***___Rough Wear Clothing Co.
    W535ac 21996______________14-Oct-41____25,000_____Aero Leather Clothing Co. [DC, GW, TF]
    W535ac 23377______________31-Dec-41____20,000_____Perry Sportswear, Inc. [GW]
    W535ac 23378______________26-Dec-41____15,000_____Monarch Mfg. Co. [BKM, ELC, GW]
    W535ac 23379______________26-Dec-41____10,000_____J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co. [GW]
    W535ac 23380______________26-Dec-41____12,000_____Rough Wear Clothing Co. [BR, BKM, TF]
    W535ac 23381_______________5-Jan-42____ 5,000_____Cooper Sportswear Mfg. Co.
    W535ac 23382______________29-Dec-41____10,000_____Cable Raincoat Co. [ELC]
    W535ac 23383______________22-Dec-41____ 8,000_____unmarked label (Fried Ostermann Co.) [GW]
    W535ac 24759__42-10008P____19-Jan-42____10,000_____Cable Raincoat Co. [BKM, DC, GW]
    W535ac 27435__42-15142P_____28-Mar-42___50,000_____Aero Leather Clothing Co. [ALC]
    W535ac 27618__42-16175P_____23-May-42___50,000_____Perry Sportswear, Inc. [GW, TF]
    W535ac 27752______________27-Apr-42____50,000_____Rough Wear Clothing Co. [BKM, ELC, GW]
    W535ac 27753______________29-Apr-42___ 50,000____ unmarked label (Cable Raincoat Co.) [BR, GW]
    W535ac 27798______________25-Apr-42____50,000____J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co. [BKM, DC, GW, LW]
    W535ac 28557__42-18245P____ 18-May-42____30,000____Star Sportswear Mfg. Co. [BKM, ELC, GW]
    W535ac 28558__42-18246P____18-May-42____10,000____unmarked label (S.H. Knopf) [GW]
    W535ac 28560__42-18248P____ 18-May-42____50,000____Poughkeepsie Leather Coat Co. Inc. [DC, GW]
    W535ac 28819__42-18775P____25-May-42____50,000____Aero Leather Clothing Co. [ALC, BKM, GW]
    W535ac 28820__42-18776P____18-May-42____25,000____I. Spiewak & Sons
    W535ac 28821__42-18777P____ 18-May-42____25,000____United Sheeplined Clothing Co. [GW]
    W535ac 29191__42-19172P____ 18-May-42____59,000____Bronco Mfg. Corp. [ALC, DC, GW]
    W535ac 29971__42-21539P_____9-Jun-42_____5,000__unmarked label (David D. Doniger & Co.) [GW]

    War - Other
    Label___Date__Quantity__Comments

    V505____1943____****_____unmarked label ("V" an Australian wartime code for Victoria manufacture)

    War "Limited Standard Use"
    Order Number__________Order Date__Quantity____Original Maker [Re-manufacturer*]

    W33-038 A.C.-1755 (11631)________tbd_____35,000**______J.A. Dubow Mfg. Co. [BKM, GW]
    1756________________________tbd_____25,000**______unmarked label (Perry Sportswear) [ALC]
    W33-038 A.C.-1761____________ _tbd______25,000**______Bronco Mfg. Corp.

    * Re-manufacturer identities are

    ALC - Aero Leather Clothing [Scotland] http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/
    BKM - Bill Kelso Mfg. Co. [UK] http://www.billkelsomfg.com/
    BR - Buzz Ricksons [Japan] http://www.buzzricksons.jp/
    DC - Diamond Clothing Co., Inc. [USA] http://www.diamondclothingco.com/
    ELC - Eastman Leather Clothing [England] http://www.eastmanleather.com/
    GW - Good Wear Leather Coat Co. [USA] http://www.goodwearleather.com/
    LW - Lost Worlds, Inc. [USA] http://www.lostworldsinc.com/
    RMCJ - Real McCoy's [Japan] http://www.realmccoys.co.jp/
    TF - The Few [New Zealand] http://www.thefewmfg.com/

    ** Estimated quantity of manufacture.

    *** Paper trail exists, but may not have been manufactured and/or survived as proof of manufacture.

    **** Examples exists, but original maker, client(s), and number made are not known. May have been made by Staggs or Lasicas for the USAAF stationed in Australia rather than for the RAAF.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  2. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    There is already sticky with all the original contracts listed.
     
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  3. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    True, but it doesn't list the original maker contracts that are made be each re-manufacturer. Saw a post where someone requested and thought a good idea.
     
    bseal likes this.
  4. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    I think it would be more useful to list each original contract and the reproduction maker beside them.
     
  5. seres

    seres New Member

    Messages:
    28
    I can't seem to find this thread. Could someone post a link here? Thanks!
     
  6. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

  7. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    never the less, a nice endeavor. sooo.... who is going to make the elusive aero leather tanning [brooklyn, ny] a-2?
     
  8. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    Project underway and in a speedy year or two may have something.

    What's really remarkable are the number and diversity of re-manufactured A2's. Not just cheap remakes, but the high quality, detail accurate, and not inexpensive versions that these re-manufacturers are known and people may wait a couple years for delivery. Given the last made original version is from 1944 the continued popularity of the original maker A2 is remarkable.

    The only notable re-manufactured exceptions are the still-in-business Cooper, the popular 1944 Bronco AC-1761 that has been made in the past but there is currently no re-manufactured example (I excluded the current Toys McCoy's AC-1761 version since it used their name instead of Bronco), three others because an example has not been found so it may be reproduced, and the Aero you mentioned (Gary Eastman has that one known example).

    In addition, the 1943 Australian V505 exists in a number of examples, so would be fairly simple to replicate. Since there's no paper trail (don't know who made it, how many, nor for whom), so that may be why it hasn't been reproduced. What is it, exactly?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  9. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    441
    The 1943 Australian V505 what leather was it made from ,could it have been Kangaroo . This leather would of been an excellent choice as it is used to make motorcycle jackets and would have been plentiful in OZ .

    Quote taken from the internet

    Kangaroo is one of the strongest leather in the world that’s also two-times thinner than traditional hides. Kangaroo leather’s tight, dense fiber structure provides four times the tensile strength and three times more abrasion resistance than cowhide or deerskin, allowing it to be rendered to 1/4" thin for comfortable storage without compromising the leather’s strength. The Australian kangaroo leather is naturally water-resistant and it will never fade, crack, or unravel like typical leather wallets.

    end of quote


    BIP
     
  10. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    Norway
    Doubt it was roo Jeff. Cowhide was by far the most common leather used in Oz and NZ back in those days. I've never handled one but from the pics I've seen the grain looks a lot like cowhide - or horsehide for that matter, but HH certainly wasn't nearly as common as cowhide.
     
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  11. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    Norway
    In fact just looking at my post again, I'm not even sure roo leather had even been established properly in the mid-20th century and I'm also not even sure horsehide was locally manufactured back in the 30s and 40s in either Oz or NZ.

    My money's still on moo-hide ;)
     
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  12. Silver Surfer

    Silver Surfer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,926
    i too have heard of roo used. rumor roo? dunno. calling dr eastman for a lab test. no, no, not for a dog, a kangaroo if you please.
     
  13. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    Norway
    I reckon the roo leather thing comes from the fact the V505 was made in Oz, and those more enthusiastic not from those parts get a bit excited and make a mental jump from A-2, Australia to hence roo leather, which is a thing now but I'm pretty certain wasn't back in those days. Roos were shot and hunted a bit back in those days but mostly for dog tucker if I'm not mistaken. Even food-wise it's a bit of a new industry, and although you can go into any Woolies or Coles supermarket and buy roo mince, roo steaks, roo burgers, etc I reckon there's a far bigger proportion of people who don't eat it than do. The leather industry for roo has taken off in recent times I believe because of it's applications to MC leathers especially.

    It is good stuff.
     
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  14. Bombing IP

    Bombing IP Active Member

    Messages:
    441
    Smithy you bring up some very good points re the introduction of Roo to the leather market . Does anyone make a copy of the 1943 Australian V505 ,or has anyone in the past made one ?.Why would the Australian Government be making A2 jackets for the Americans serving in the 5th .

    BIP
     
  15. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    We don’t have a paper trail to know who made the V505 or for whom. Anyone have the spec?

    Unaware of anyone, at any time, making a V505 repro. A V505 repro in kangaroo would be fitting, if able to get hides large enough for the one piece back.
     
  16. Smithy

    Smithy Active Member

    Messages:
    731
    Location:
    Norway
    I'd say it was to quickly meet a shortage and need for US aircrew stationed in Oz Jeff. Maybe the top brass thought/ascertained that it would be quicker and cheaper to get a local leather factory to make them rather than get them from the US?

    I actually did a bit of digging regarding the roo leather industry and it was a bit of an eye-opener. There was actually quite a large market for skins in Europe and the US in the 19th century and it expanded to the point where nearly all the skins were going to the States. It seems to have dwindled around the middle of the 20th century and then picked up again in the 1960s until the government banned the export of roo products in the early 70s. It really took off when the government lifted the ban and sporting companies really jumped on the bandwagon for footballs, etc.

    It's funny though you really don't see a lot of roo jackets in Oz, there's a bloke who's got a leather shop (makes and sells fashion jackets, bags, etc) on Lonsdale St in Melb who I've seen has had a couple of examples but the main places you see roo leather there is with Aussie Rules footies made by Sherrin and cricket gear, gloves and balls, etc. Apparently still most of it goes overseas, Europe mostly now for luxury goods, and apparently even Audi uses it.
     
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  17. 33-1729

    33-1729 Member

    Messages:
    68
    This version ought to be a bit more readable.

    rm.jpg

    Re-manufacturer identities are

    ALC - Aero Leather Clothing [Scotland] http://www.aeroleatherclothing.com/
    BKM - Bill Kelso Mfg. Co. [UK] http://www.billkelsomfg.com/
    BR - Buzz Ricksons [Japan] http://www.buzzricksons.jp/
    DC - Diamond Clothing Co., Inc. [USA] http://www.diamondclothingco.com/
    ELC - Eastman Leather Clothing [England] http://www.eastmanleather.com/
    GW - Good Wear Leather Coat Co. [USA] http://www.goodwearleather.com/
    LW - Lost Worlds, Inc. [USA] http://www.lostworldsinc.com/
    RMCJ - Real McCoy's [Japan] http://www.realmccoys.co.jp/
    TF - The Few [New Zealand] http://www.thefewmfg.com/
     
  18. falcon_ib

    falcon_ib Member

    Messages:
    41
    Great chart, very easy to read and a wonderful resource. Thank you for posting.

    Would love to see a V505 repro one day!

    Evan
     
  19. Roughwear

    Roughwear Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the chart Mr 1933 Werber. It is very useful. GW makes a fine Cooper reproduction. Three of the contracts listed may have been cancelled before any jackets were made made, the two Werbers, 34-518-p and 37-1119-p and the RW 42-1671-p. As far as I know no jackets from these contracts have been seen or photographed, but as they were for small quantities it does not mean jackets were not made under them.
     
  20. 2BM2K

    2BM2K Active Member

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    Sussex
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