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Durable Horsehide Cafe racer? c.1954

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by tmitchell59, May 14, 2019.

  1. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    I found little about the Durable company. Brando's leather jacket in The Wild Ones is thought by some to be made by Durable. They were a Canadian brand. If you have any information on the company post it, I would be interested.

    [​IMG]

    I did find information on the Lang Tanning company.

    The Lang Tanning Company then went on to become the largest sole leather producer in the British Empire, and Reinhold Lang, who was also a member of the Berlin Council in 1859, became a prominent local citizen. During the First World War, Lang Tanning produced huge amounts of saddle material, and in the Second World War it supplied sole leather and leather linings for aircraft gasoline tanks. The company discontinued operations as a tannery in 1954 due to competition from synthetic materials

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    If this was the last leather they produced it would be made in 1954. I don't know how to date Lightening zippers. I will write Ken Calder, he may have an estimate. Again if you have any information on this zipper let me know.

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    I thank Dave Sheeley for tipping on this beauty. Way too small for fit pics. I would estimate a size 36/38. Dave thought the jacket could be from the 40s.

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    I called it a Cafe Racer because of the cossack collar. I have no idea what it would be considered other than extremely cool! It is a very nice Blue/Grey and in excellent condition through out.

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    The two button cuffs say 40s to me.

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    Check out this back.

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    Carlos840, JMax, AbbaDatDeHat and 8 others like this.
  2. Monitor

    Monitor I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    8,246
    Interesting jacket though I can't say I like the design very much myself. Awesome hide! Fantastic find in any case and thank you for sharing!
     
  3. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    [​IMG]


    Too small for fit pics.

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    Michael A, Peter Bowden, JMax and 4 others like this.
  4. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    I saw this jacket quite a while ago on eBay but never posted it as I figured no one would have interest because of the small size. Glad you got it for study, Terry.
     
  5. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    Yes, too small, but too cool to pass.

    Here is an album with more pics and measurements. I guess I don't have to worry about people wanting it. not for sale anyway
     
    Lebowski likes this.
  6. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    I love the blue!
    ...and those cuffs.
     
  7. Lebowski

    Lebowski Practically Family

    Messages:
    648
    The cuffs, the back pleats, the main zipper, the whole pattern - so many nice features in this jacket are tempting to buy the jacket.
    Terry, I understand the motivation of this purchase very well, it's very interesting jacket. Nice piece of history.
    Congrats!
     
    ProteinNerd and tmitchell59 like this.
  8. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    Buying stuff that doesn't fit is part of being a collector. Yes, I like the history they represent.
     
    navetsea and Lebowski like this.
  9. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

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    Reminds me very much of Score Leathers, also British Cycle and Brimaco. Makes me wonder if there was some connection or evolution there. This is the earliest Canadian M/C I’ve seen. Wonderful color and pattern.
     
    Lebowski and tmitchell59 like this.
  10. willyto

    willyto Practically Family

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    935
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    It's absolutely stunning. I'm happy that it isn't my size because it would have been difficult to pass this one had I found it on Ebay and now I would be mad because you weren't selling it :D

    What a wonderful colour.

    Regarding the brand I have another jacket by them which I have shared here in the past: [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure that Himel could know about the brand.
     
    Lebowski and tmitchell59 like this.
  11. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    I can't find any information on Durable. I'm with Dave thinking it may be earlier than 1954. No idea if it is a MC jacket.

    Fairly distinctive jacket for early 50s.
     
  12. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

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    Interesting. Your label has DU-VAL . I bet that is the tanner
     
  13. ton312

    ton312 I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    It really is. I’m curious to know if this is the grandmother of the Canadian CR’s that became so distinct in style during the 1970’s. It’s like the collar is the tipping point and the early shields, score, brimacos kind of evolved from it. Certainly a curious and unique piece. Great find.
     
    Lebowski likes this.
  14. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

    Messages:
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    Durable is a brand that is extremely difficult to research, mainly because so many manufacturers used the word "durable" to describe their leather products.

    Perhaps Durable had a Canadian branch, but I do not believe it was a Canadian company. Unless there was a separate company using the same name as the famous manufacturer of the Brando jacket.

    Here is a preliminary guess that may lead to further research and discoveries down the road:

    The Durable Sportswear Company Inc. was located at 47 Broadway, Lynbrook N.Y. (this is on Long Island).

    I found a N.Y. Daily News ad from 1954 for a department store chain that lists a couple dozen lines of sporting brands. "Durable Sportswear" is among them.

    Samuel Evans was the company president. He and the secretary/treasurer of the company were busted and fined in 1952 for evading corporate income taxes in 1948.

    The Lynbrook location also seems to support the story that Schott bought out Durable--hence Schott's claim that they made the Brando jacket.
     
  15. tmitchell59

    tmitchell59 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I was hoping you would dig up something on the Durable label. I saw that reference to the NY address, but confused by the Canadian connection.

    With the Brando connection I was anticipating more detailed information on Durable. I have not paid much attention to the Brando/Durable connection. Most Canadian made jackets I see have Lightening zippers and seem to have pulls on the left side.

    I just looked through the Tanaka books. He ask readers to send him any information on Canadian jackets because he could find little information.

    my search took me back here to TFL and a link by @Mysteryo to a discussion of the Brando jacket. Very little information in that discussion about the Durable label.
     
  16. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    1,356
    Location:
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    The main problem is "durable" has been such a commonly used adjective to describe leather jackets. Even if someone has the actual Brando jacket on display in their man cave, the Durable label alone doesn't tell us much.

    Hopefully the info I uncovered will serve as a starting point to learning more.
     
  17. ProteinNerd

    ProteinNerd My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Now that's interesting!

    It might also explain why Schott haven't ever produced an actual accurate Brando jacket. They buy Durable and then technically did make the Brando jacket, or at least now own the company that did. Maybe they don't have the pattern???
     
  18. Gamma68

    Gamma68 One Too Many

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    Location:
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    The theory is Schott feels they can legitimately make a claim that they made the original Brando jacket because they bought out Durable. (I have no evidence that Schott purchased Durable, just read that somewhere.) It's pretty clear that Schott didn't make the jacket. The original pattern for the Brando jacket is probably lost to time.
     
    ProteinNerd likes this.
  19. jonbuilder

    jonbuilder Practically Family

    Messages:
    732
    Location:
    Redwood City, CA
    yikes where do I get this jacket in modern size 44
     
  20. Kalmer

    Kalmer New in Town

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