• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

Questions About the United States Navy Peacoat

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Matt Jones, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Familiar Face

    Vintage Navy pea coat -- dating?

    Hi all,

    I recently purchased a vintage U.S Navy pea coat, and was curious about its age. Are there any resources that could help me figure this out? The coat's inner markings by themselves don't reveal much of anything. Any help is appreciated.
  2. Holzkopf

    Holzkopf New in Town

    Would you happen to have a picture of it that you could show us? I have one myself and I'm not sure of the date either.
  3. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    if your jacket is a real US model it will have a tag that gives the model, mil number and the year is usually hidden in that.

    Is your tag white or Black. If it's black with yellow letters it's pre mid 60's. But a pea coat hasn't really changed in all those years.
  4. MudInYerEye

    MudInYerEye Practically Family

    No expert here, but I've heard that older models have pockets lined in corduroy (I suspect I may have mispelled this word.)
  5. shamus

    shamus Suspended

    true, I believe that they are or at least a heavy cotton. Not satin like a new one. Also if your tag is not at by the collar or right bottom, it might be in the left pocket.

    The buttons might be of a bakelight material instead of the modern black plastic too.
  6. A wartime label should be white-ish cotton/oilcloth with USN blurb and an inspector's mark. The wool on the older Peas is denser and flatter- less fuzzy.

    As Shamus said, look for labels/tags in the pockets and inside seams-

  7. jake431

    jake431 Practically Family

    Anyone know of a good place to look for older Pea Coats? Am I about to be directed to ebay again?

  8. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Familiar Face

    You guys are great, thanks!

    Here are more details of my coat:


    It's your standard pea coat design -- double breasted, single vent. There are six buttons visible on the front, with another button hidden under each collar. The color is navy of course, and the buttons look black to me. The coat is fully lined (something silky, dark navy/black in color). It's a beauty and in excellent condition!


    The handwarmer pockets are lined in a tan corduroy. I've heard from a few sources that this was only done in the 40's.


    Here is the "inner" button, with a low pocket underneath, located on your left hip if you're wearing the coat.


    The tag is located just below the right inside breast pocket. It's white cloth with black lettering, yellowed with age. The text is faded, but I can make out most of it:

    COAT, MAN'S,
    DSA 100-2739
    Size 36R
    100% WOOL

    To the left is a black stamp "12" (must be the inspector). Around the edges, hand written in blue ink are the owner's name and at the bottom is:

    B33 37 07 Co. 184

    The name and number are also stamped on the lining below the tag, and again near the vent.

    That's about it. The kersey wool is thick, dense, flat and extremely heavy -- not the fluffy/fuzzy stuff you see on modern pea coats. Weighs a ton! I love it.
  9. gdkenoyer

    gdkenoyer Familiar Face

    Cordury may be later than the 40's...

    That may be, but my wife has her brother's peacoat issued to him during Vietnam; it has very nice cordury lining in the pockets...
  10. guitone

    guitone Familiar Face

    How do the fit on these older militray peacoasts run? Would a 36 be a true 36?
  11. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Familiar Face

    They're very fitted. 36 fits more like a 34.

    Go one size larger than your suit size.
  12. guitone

    guitone Familiar Face

    Especially as I get a bit older and dislike tight, thanks.

    First I need to wear my new barbour and my new G2....
  13. Hello, I may be able to offer some sound advice in dating a pea coat.

    I have two WWII pea coats. Both have the corduroy pockets and I also have been told that the corduroy pocket lining has been continued into years after the war. So, how to find out if your pea coat is a war time relic? Well, there is only one way that I know can not be dispelled. It?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s all about the label!

    A true WWII pea coat will have a rectangular aged white label (Originally white) will read like this:

    Manufactured by
    Navy Clothing Factory.

    It will also have an anchor in the upper right and left hand corners. There will also be a few lines at the bottom for name and rank.

    These are the labels that you?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢ll find in 30?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s and 40?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s WWII Naval uniforms such as jumper tops and trousers. Just as a side note, if you find navy trousers of the 13 button kind, to know they?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢re age you will have to see a metal zipper in the left pocket. If there is no zipper, that means its post 1945.

    Hope that helps!


    This is a post war label.
    [​IMG] I'll post a war time label soon.
  14. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Familiar Face

    Thanks Root! That's exactly the kind of info I've been trying to find.

    Do you know approximately what years they were made with Kersey wool?
  15. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Familiar Face

    Here's one:

  16. BINGO!

    That's the war time label alright! I tried to find one on the net and couldn't for the life of me! I was going to take a photo of it but, I got lazy. :p

    Glad I could help!

  17. Peacoat

    Peacoat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    I realize this thread is stale, but I just came across this site, and knowing a few things about Navy peacoats, thought I might answer your question. Hope you come back and see the answer. The "Kersey" wool coats were in production until approximately 1980 when a new contract was let, specifying a different wool. This wool is a "Melton" wool, and is a lighter and more fuzzy wool than the old thick and smooth type wool previously used. Although the old wool was not always called "Kersey" it was the same dense heavy wool until replaced by the Melton wool, which is, and has been, used in the current issue coats for the last 25 years. As the Melton wool is not as thick and warm, the current issue coats have a layer of insulation between the liner and the shell to make them as warm as the Kersey coats. The first contractor to manufacture the new coats was Vi-Mil, Inc. I can't remember if they are still in business, but I did know that at one time. The current contract holder is SterlingWear of Boston, which makes an excellent "new" peacoat.

    The color is also different. The current issue coats are black, and the Kersey wool coats are a very dark blue, which appears to be black unless compared to a truly black garment in strong light.

    In 1967 the tag began showing the date of contract in the "contract number" which appeared on the tag. That practice is still followed, so dating these coats is simple. Also easy is dating the coats immediately preceeding 1967. During the mid 60s (and not sure how far before that) the tag read simply "US NAVY" and the stitching on the sleeve at, and just above the cuff was distinctive. I believe the tag immediately preceeding the mid 60s tag was one that read "Naval Clothing Factory" and the one before that was "Naval Clothing Depot" which I believe to have been the Korean era. The WWII era produced thousands of these coats, and the language on the tags may have changed several times during the course of the war and with the various contractors, but I'm not sure.

    The really old coats had four buttons, and the ones issued after WWII (and maybe during) had three buttons. My history on the WWII coats is not yet nailed down, so I am giving my best guess based on what I do know.

    Hope you come back, read this thread, and see the answer to your question; the short answer to which is: From the beginning until 1980. Later, Peacoat.
  18. green papaya

    green papaya Practically Family

    current peacoats

    the current peacoats are still heavy, I weighed mine and it weighed over 6 pounds!

    date of mfg. 1994 by Crown Clothing Co.
  19. Peacoat

    Peacoat My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Yes, they are still heavy, and, more importantly, still warm coats. I have a 1985 dated coat that was made by Cavalier and a bunch of the older coats. I can tell no appreciable difference in the warmth. There may be a difference in rainy or windy conditions because of the tightness of the weave on the older coats, but I have done no objective testing. I am more interested these days in determing the dates of manufacture of the older coats. From about 1950 on I have a pretty good grasp of the labels and how they tell the story of the era in which the coats were manufactured. Prior to then, I just am not sure. That was 60 years ago, and there aren't that many coats left from that era still in circulation.
  20. Matt Jones

    Matt Jones Familiar Face

    Thanks so much for the wealth of information on peacoats; it is most appreciated!

Share This Page