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Late fathers vintage leather coat ,help with age and make

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
Someone in the Vintage Leather Forum suggest suggested that I post this in this threat as it deals with more civy jackets

This was my late father's coat . He was born in 1918 and served in the Canadian Army during WW2 driving a bike and running messages ---coat is not war related . I think he owned the coat either before or after the war ie late 30,s or early 40,s . It may have been already used when it came into his hands . The only story I can remember him telling about the coat was him wearing it while unloading concrete blocks , thus the wear on the front . I wore the coat a bit as a teanage as the coat is quite small ---40?. I am now 73 so its been a very long time since it fit me .Its condition at that time is as you see it now well worn . Some measurements are pit to pit is 20.5, shoulder 17.5 back length 22.5 and sleeve length 22.

I have been researching it for a while now and have made my way through all the post in the vintage forum , Fedora , various sale sites with limited luck . I did find one post on the Fedora site by Rabbit on Feb 12022, link https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/niks-vintage-1930s-leather-jacket-sale-size-36-38.106824/ Looks to be the same coat shown on thread 60 by Andreart under "Very cool horsehide coat" on Feb 17 2013 . Rabbet said he believed that his coat was made by Durable , but found limited company info . I did finally get some info on the Durable jacket brand researching this forum . It appears to have been potentially two companies , one in the US and the other in Ontario Canada , may or may not be related . The various Pony Durable jackets do appear similar enough to my jacket to give me the feeling that my coat may have been made by Durable . Also they had the FLASH zipper on some of the jackets so this is a bit more proof.

Based on my research it looks like a half belt design with a sunburst back . The sunburst appears to have been created by sewing darts in and not pieces . It has no label nor any identifying labels anywhere. The main zipper has the word FLASH front and back on the pull and USA . The small zipper has no markings and appears to be a coil design ? Lots of research has turned up limited information on the zipper or coat except as noted above . The D rings on the side pulls have no info on them . Lining is a red plaid with a dark blue in the sleeves. Cuffs once had buttons , but long gone and now sewn closed .

The overall patina on the coat is undescribable --its just plain beautiful and the back is like a work of art . Trying to document it and would like to pass it down , but my wife wants to get rid of old stuff so I hide when she is in this mood and my son is not into things like this . I love the back and may find a way to mount it on the wall in my office to enjoy as it does bring joy looking at it .

So I was hoping all the wise minds on the site may help me better understand the coat , its age , make, style and type of leather . Wished I had asked more questions when dad was around but that is life .

Thank you

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photo2u

One Too Many
Messages
1,986
Location
claremont california
Nice Coat! The design looks late 30s to me. The zip is a replacement (late 50s). To lubricate the zips, use a regular pencil to remove oxidation and gunk from the all the zipper's part. If you have a chance, try to brush the coat with a horse hairbrush to remove the dust that could create trouble around the seems. Personally, I would not use a wet method to clean it due to lack of understanding how the leather presently is. If you TRULY need to clean it more carefully, test some areas to see how the leather will react to the saddle soap.
Lastly, if you want to mend the bottom part of the lining, I would look for scraps of corduroy (old Lévis) or nice light suede or regular leather. Not very hard to do by hand. This truly would be a work of love.

Please keep the coat in the family.
 
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PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
Nice Coat! The design looks late 30s to me. The zip is a replacement (late 50s). To lubricate the zips, use a regular pencil to remove oxidation and gunk from the all the zipper's part. If you have a chance, try to brush the coat with a horse hairbrush to remove the dust that could create trouble around the seems. Personally, I would not use a wet method to clean it due to lack of understanding how the leather presently is. If you TRULY need to clean it more carefully, test some areas to see how the leather will react to the saddle soap.
Lastly, if you want to mend the bottom part of the lining, I would look for scraps of corduroy (old Lévis) or nice light suede or regular leather. Not very hard to do by hand. This truly would be a work of love.

Please keep the coat in the family.
I dont remember the zipper being replaced , but I was still young at that point . I do have a 40 times magnifier and when I look at the stitching I do see two rolls that appear to have different thread . One looks like the thread used on the rest of the coat and the other while close in colour appears to have a slightly different colour and weave tightness, so you may be right . The more providence i can get on the jacket the better the likey I can keep it . Thanks you on the cleaning suggestions , the zipper is stiff but works. Still need to determine if I want to use a leather softener/protector on the leather . Tested a small area with a product from URAD called Tenderly. It changed the colour , but then in a day returned back to the original pretreated colour .
 

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
The flash labeled zipper on the jacket is from the lat 50s. Good luck with your project.
Thanks , do you know anything about this make of zipper . Would the original zipper been a Talon ?

I had someone from VLJ forum send me a picture of a sweater on ebay from the fifties with a FLASH zipper . A bit different design as the word FLASH on this one is in a raised area and mine is not , and mine has two lines either side of the word . The zipper needs cleaning , I was going to use a fine brush to get the dirt out . You mention a pencil , do you mean using the eraser on the end to clean the zipper ?

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AeroFan_07

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,298
Location
Iowa
So I do not know much about the zipper, Photo2u is a great source for this knowledge.

That's one very neat jacket and the wear, patina etc on this jacket could have only been built one way - wear, love, and life.

As others have said - I do hope it can stay in your family. It's a treasure of memories for you. Thanks for sharing it with us here and welcome to FL! :)
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,084
Beautiful jacket. Is there any other tags or writings inside the pockets?

It's hard to tell from the photo but do you see a filled up grommet hole at the bottom of the zip? I also think it's a 30s jacket that had a zip replacement like Photo said. The Hookless fan shaped Talons were quite finicky.
 

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
So I do not know much about the zipper, Photo2u is a great source for this knowledge.

That's one very neat jacket and the wear, patina etc on this jacket could have only been built one way - wear, love, and life.

As others have said - I do hope it can stay in your family. It's a treasure of memories for you. Thanks for sharing it with us here and welcome to FL! :)
Thank you for your comments .
 

photo2u

One Too Many
Messages
1,986
Location
claremont california
Thanks , do you know anything about this make of zipper . Would the original zipper been a Talon ?

I had someone from VLJ forum send me a picture of a sweater on ebay from the fifties with a FLASH zipper . A bit different design as the word FLASH on this one is in a raised area and mine is not , and mine has two lines either side of the word . The zipper needs cleaning , I was going to use a fine brush to get the dirt out . You mention a pencil , do you mean using the eraser on the end to clean the zipper ?

View attachment 553589
View attachment 553590

The pencil black core is solid graphite. It is a great lubricant for the teeth. When you clean all the gunk out with the black core of the pencil, you begin to lubricate the teeth at the same time. Make sure you brush off the gunk. Some pencil will come off, but you need to redo the process again several times.

The flash slider is a very close clone of the crown slider and pull. The back side of the slider is very close to the C&C models done when C&C took over Crown zippers. The pull and slider designed used in your main zip was popular and companies such as ideal and others put their name on the zippers. I would guess that C&C made them for the other companies.

Here are two images of the crown and Ideal.

images (4).jpeg
s-l1600 (4).jpg
 

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
Beautiful jacket. Is there any other tags or writings inside the pockets?

It's hard to tell from the photo but do you see a filled up grommet hole at the bottom of the zip? I also think it's a 30s jacket that had a zip replacement like Photo said. The Hookless fan shaped Talons were quite finicky.
I did find a small tag indicating it was size 40 but nothing else that I can see . Not sure what you mean by filled in grommet hole but nothing at the bottom of the zipper on the inside or outside that I can see . On closer inspection I agree that the zipper has been replaced as you can see the old and newer thread used .

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PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
The pencil black core is solid graphite. It is a great lubricant for the teeth. When you clean all the gunk out with the black core of the pencil, you begin to lubricate the teeth at the same time. Make sure you brush off the gunk. Some pencil will come off, but you need to redo the process again several times.

The flash slider is a very close clone of the crown slider and pull. The back side of the slider is very close to the C&C models done when C&C took over Crown zippers. The pull and slider designed used in your main zip was popular and companies such as ideal and others put their name on the zippers. I would guess that C&C made them for the other companies.

Here are two images of the crown and Ideal.

View attachment 553639 View attachment 553640
The pencil black core is solid graphite. It is a great lubricant for the teeth. When you clean all the gunk out with the black core of the pencil, you begin to lubricate the teeth at the same time. Make sure you brush off the gunk. Some pencil will come off, but you need to redo the process again several times.

The flash slider is a very close clone of the crown slider and pull. The back side of the slider is very close to the C&C models done when C&C took over Crown zippers. The pull and slider designed used in your main zip was popular and companies such as ideal and others put their name on the zippers. I would guess that C&C made them for the other companies.

Here are two images of the crown and Ideal.

View attachment 553639 View attachment 553640
I now understand about using the lead of the pencil to clean out the teeth of the zipper . I see the resemblance between the FLASH and IDEAL and CROWN zippers . I understand from other post that you have considerable experience on the treatment of old vintage leather jackets like mine . I am not sure how to treat the jacket with a leather conditioner as most appear to change the colour which I really don't want to do ie I don't want to darken it and loose all the patina .
 

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
I
I think this might be a Canadian-made jacket.
I was wondering that myself. If it is a Durable Jacket I read on another thread that Durable may have had a Canadian and US company that may or may not be related ? It was also suggested that they may have made Jackets for a number of the large Canadian retailers . All of this may or may not be true and my research continues . I know , a lot of may,s but that is the nature of the beast . Hoping someone with knowledge of the Durable Company will lend there two cents worth
 

tmitchell59

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,422
Location
Illinois
A beautiful Jacket and family treasure. There are Durable jackets that have the same look of quality, the same finish. They would be a safe bet. Certainly looks like horsehide. This Aviator style was at it's height in the late 30s. The jacket is certainly pre-war, 1935-1940.

It is a beauty.

Thanks for sharing. I'll be having my 71 birthday next week!
 

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
A beautiful Jacket and family treasure. There are Durable jackets that have the same look of quality, the same finish. They would be a safe bet. Certainly looks like horsehide. This Aviator style was at it's height in the late 30s. The jacket is certainly pre-war, 1935-1940.

It is a beauty.

Thanks for sharing. I'll be having my 71 birthday next week!
Thanks for your comments and happy birday . :cool:
 

tmitchell59

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,422
Location
Illinois
I call it an educated guess on the Horsehide. It is either horsehide or Cow. Most jackets during this era were Horse. Looks like Horse hide.

If you hang it on the wall, stuff the sleeves. I use common plastic grocery bags, really fill the sleeves with the bags. Get a pool noodle and cut 2 pieces to place on the hanger to give the shoulders support while hanging and maintain the shape. The upper arms and shoulders are the high strain areas.

Don't let it get dry. Provide some humidity in the area if you live in a dry climate.

I recommend wearing old jackets to keep them supple. I have fully "stuffed" leather jackets as you would a hunting trophy, for display. I stuff whatever material will fill the jackets; pillows are good for the body. Give the jacket some life, fill it out. You get the idea.

I will post a pic of the pool noodle hanger.

Sorry forgot to ask , how do you tell a jacket is horse hide . To the touch the leather is stiff and appears to be quite thick .
 

PDO

New in Town
Messages
15
Thanks , i see what you mean . If I could find an old mannequin that may also work . I live in southern Ontario so I expect our climate is like yours , but a bit colder in winter and dryer . I cannot wear the jacket as its size 40 and the liner is quite fragile ----I am a 46 or 48 . The Jacket is quite dry and I have been researching leathers conditioners. Most appear to change the colour and the patina and i don't want to do that . Tries a bit of Urad Tenderly that I have used on leather boots and once dry , it did not appear to change the colour . Of course it may be doing nothing for the leather .
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