TYPE A-1 Dateline

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

  1. 33-1729

    33-1729 Active Member

    Messages:
    106
    Thank you, roughwear!

    On the Fedora Lounge they speak of a Mirabelli Bros. Co. A-1 and show the original label from an eBay auction with a new label re-creation. The label looks very odd to me (below). The drawing number for an A-1 in Eastman's book is AN-6501, but this one has 074737. A letter in Eastman's book talked about making dimensional changes to the A-1 in early 1928, so a different drawing number would be expected but going from 6501 to 74737 is a very big shift.

    Also, the contract number would begin with W535 AC-xxxxx, but the label says "A.C. Order" which ought to have the format YEAR-xxxx. Yes, the label looks old, but how many A-1's or A-2's are a size 50?

    mirabelli.jpg
    https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/admirals-a-1-jacket.69007/


    Maybe it is real. Has anyone found an A-1 paper trail for Mirabelli Bros. Co. or another example?
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2018
    Ken at Aero Leather and zoomer like this.
  2. Geeboo

    Geeboo Active Member

    Messages:
    177
    So far I have seen 3 styles with photo proof, pls point out if i am wrong.
    Can Skyhawk share his original Ferguson A1?

    A1.jpg A1_1.jpg A1_2.jpg
     
  3. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Location:
    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    That was my fake-up of the Mirabelli label! I forget the ins and outs of the situation, but someone had found an original A-1 and everyone was very intrigued by it.

    Search [ mirabelli ] on the FL and you should be as up to date as I am.
     
  4. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,543
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    I saw the Mirabelli on EBay and tried to pull together a small consortium to buy it and have it replicated by JC. Couldn’t justify the outlay for a single purchase at the time.
    There was no interest, so the opportunity went by...
     
  5. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    645
    I wish I'd paid more attention to the A-1 jackets we had through our hands at The Thrift Shop, I've no idea how many? Best part of a dozen perhaps? This was 40 years ago
    The first few had the pockets sewn on over the waistband stitch, this sticks in mind as the first time we saw it as there was no label and we had a good laugh about it, assuming it was a "bedsit production" and the maker hadn't realised the order to do things. Then a couple more showed up, at least one witha AC label, by that time the first one was long gone and nobody could remember who had bought it, I do recall it went for very little money £25 maybe?. Around the same timel at least two maybe three showed up with the pocket set up as in 3, immediately above, but I couldn't swear to whether they we labelled as an A-1 or not, nor how the neck was finished, one thing I'm sure of, it wasn't done like (3,above) This is before we knew much about USAAF & AC clothing, before Dave Hill showed up and our drive to get our hands on every A-2 we could lay out hands on.

    Oddities have always stuck in my mind though
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  6. johnwayne

    johnwayne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,222
    Wish I'd have bought from you for £25, mind you, that was probably a weeks wages back then!
     
  7. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    645
    So you've not got it JW?
    At that time an A-2 would have been priced around £75 and a good pair of vintage 501s £3
     
  8. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,543
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    The venerable Wiki entry:

    Mario Mirabelli and his brother Michael were running a military clothing manufacturing outfit in Elizabeth at the time when they purchased the building in 1940. They expanded their operations and won considerable government contracts during the Second World War. They produced close to $11 billion worth of military clothing during the war. The Mirabelli Company continued to win military contracts after the war. Mario Mirabelli was called to testify before Congress in the late 1950s when government suppliers were accused of forcing the company to manufacture items using second-rate materials that were deemed unusable by other government manufacturing outfits. The scandal hurt Mirabelli's business and reputation. They continued to win small government contracts until the early 1960s, but eventually sold the building and went out of business.
     
  9. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    Location:
    Nottingham England
    In my eBay trawls found this superb unique valuable sensational historic jacket.
    As the seller states - “The Valstarino" by Valstar Milano was worn by US pilots in the 1930s and is believed to be a precursor to the iconic bomber.

    360CC088-B29A-49AD-B0CA-03F3924A1865.jpeg


    Not sure if this contract has been established anywhere else but it’s 1911 so the Wright Boys have just left the ground.
    Those superb white knits and buttons not poppers at the base of this piece cry out historic.
    Well something / someone is crying out.

    Swede as well. None of this Capeskin nonsense. It eliminates all those questions ... Is it real Capeskin

    ABCB87E0-5581-40DE-9330-CA14560ACFB4.jpeg


    The zipper is somewhat confusing as it not invented for the next part of two decades yet. However I am sure there is a logical reason for its presence. Time traveller is a very obvious answer bringing the new to the old.

    837FD44C-8090-458C-85DD-8663768E2991.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,543
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Nice work...let's get it copied immediately...
     
  11. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    Location:
    Nottingham England
    Right let’s not F... about this time.
    Let’s get this small consortium organised to buy it and have it replicated only by ..... JC. Aero. BK. ELC, Headwind, DD, BR, McCoys, etc etc.

    And I want it with pockets. And Without pockets as well. Pockets Stitched onto the lining in one side and not on the other. Cover all possible peasky customer requests. Buttons or poppers at the bottom. Hell let’s have both.
     
    Dr H likes this.
  12. Dr H

    Dr H Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,543
    Location:
    Somerset, UK
    Will it come with an auction paddle and some perfume?
     
  13. B-Man2

    B-Man2 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,511
    But all of those design features in the very first version will confuse affecionado’s and OCD collectors 80 years from now...................GREAT IDEA!!! Let’s do it!:)
     
  14. 33-1729

    33-1729 Active Member

    Messages:
    106
    Yes, you're absolutely right. Thinking to the contracts and specs I've worked on, I think I may have another plausible theory.

    If a manufacturer placed pockets onto an already made jacket, for whatever reason, and it was accepted by the military trails they would not have been able to change the design they submitted, but would have to manufacture that exact item. I've seen more than one first-time vendor to the government surprised to learn this, but they only buy what they've tested. What to do? Request to change the design as quickly as possible to make it more manufacturable. The A-1 was accepted in late Nov 1927 and a design change was already going through by Feb 1928, so that would fit with what we know.

    That would also suggest a minimum of three different A-1 versions. One for each of the two confirmed manufacturers and one after the design change. Of course, there may have been more manufacturers and design changes and the low survival rate doesn't help (the Mirabelli Bros. A-1 label still looks suspicious to me, but there may have been others).

    The early contract(s) would likely to have been the biggest, since the Air Corps Act of 1926 was planning a big five year expansion. That expansion never occurred to the extent planned so the following contracts, if any, would have been likely smaller. That would point to the first-run oddly sewn pocket version as being the most prevalent too.

    Just a thought...
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
    Ken at Aero Leather likes this.
  15. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    645

    I can't fault your logic, very plausable theory
     
  16. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    645
  17. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Location:
    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    In Italy the A-1 (almost always suede, often pieced) is the equivalent of the cardigan, worn by one's Nonno in close proximity to espresso, the sports page, and a cat.

    Valstar acknowledges the debt to the USAAC. They first offered the Valstarino in 1935. They even do them in wools, cottons, etc., which you wouldn't see on your Nonno.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  18. Persimmon

    Persimmon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,349
    Location:
    Nottingham England
    They do indeed acknowledge that debt.

    DEFE0CCC-28B8-42F0-9219-158740C0E760.jpeg

    What can I say ....

    Oh and for the buttonhole aficionados check out the jacket on the right hand side of these two lovely boys.

    Even “Yves St Laurent” looks stunned

    0F2484B5-E960-48E2-9E09-C1B5C4713E40.jpeg
     
  19. Ken at Aero Leather

    Ken at Aero Leather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    645
    How could he let those buttonholes lose in public at a time when Reece Buttonholers would have been ten-a-penny,and there were plenty tailors around who could hand sew a perfect buttonhole, the tailor we used in Soho around the same time as this would have been made charged 15/-, thats 75p in new money per buttonhole if it was in leather or suede

    I do despair sometimes....................

    Beautiful jacket otherwise
     
  20. zoomer

    zoomer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,747
    Location:
    Gerbracht Aeronautic Corp.
    I actually own a suede A-1. It's a Polo, and it's black deer suede, all but unphotographable.
    Notably, the pockets are flap only, with stitching to "fake" patch pockets.
    Gusseted shoulders are a nice feature I wish I'd had on some tight A-2s.
    2076182810_e557c9d2e4_o.jpg 2368926269_6a3ff0e1e4_o.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018

Share This Page