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Please help in dating/placing a mystery time-capsule HWM-type jacket

Will Zach

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,353
Location
SoFlo
This is an eBay find, a jacket that has been around on eBay for a while, having been checked out and passed on by @JMax and @Marc mndt - too small for them. I have been looking for a vintage straight zip for a while (Cal etc), so I took a chance at this no-name Highwayman style jacket by sending an offer. The P2P measurement turned out to be correct - 21.5, but the sleeve was not 25" but rather 23" (good thing 23" works for me, particularly with 18.5" shoulder width). Hem is 17", so t-shirt only, but it works. Jacket is heavy stiff steerhide (weighs 5.2 lbs for a 38 size, so the heft is definitely there). The seller says it is a California jacket. Color is dark chocolate brown. It looks like it has hardly been used over the years. The design elements (collar, yoke, snap cuffs) all scream 1940s/1950s. The hardware (more on it later) also screams 1940s/1950s. But the smooth leather feels like a 5-year old Branded or Natal, hence my confusion. All 1940s/50s jackets I handled were gnarly and grainy (both horse and steer); this one is smooth and feels new. I really hope for input from vintage heads @JMax , @Marc mndt , @tmitchell59 , @jonbuilder , @Guppy , @AeroFan_07 , @Leigh H (sorry if I missed anyone) for their thoughts on the design of this jacket, age, maker...I will give my thoughts on the age/provenance at the end of this post.

On to pics:

The fit is good, maybe I need to work on my shoulders a bit to fill out the V-shape of the jacket, lol:

DSC_2173.JPG



DSC_2169.JPG


Hardware:

Main zip - the Talon box design and wire pull dates to 1940s (same as on @jonbuilder Star Glove), the teeth are more 1950s.

P1080629.JPG


Pocket zips - Talon, dated by Dinerman to mid 1940s (https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/dating-outerwear-by-zipper-design.73884/):

P1080632.JPG


Snaps - United Carr, dated by Dinerman to mid 1940s (https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/dating-clothes-by-snaps.75667/) - dots between United and Carr. First pic from Dinerman, second pic from the jacket:

Slide1.JPG


P1080633.JPG


Design elements - here's where it gets a bit weird:

The cream-colored patch to protect the neck area from wear is leather (no sign of wear):

P1080637.JPG


Pockets are lined with leather (with stretch marks, so the maker consciously used "lower quality" leather for pocket lining:

P1080636.JPG


Snap cuffs are typical 1940s/1950s, pristine:

P1080638.JPG


So what do I think? I think it is a custom 1940s/1950s jacket (maybe a prototype). I think custom because of the leather neck wear protector and leather lining of the pockets. Mass makers would not use leather in these spots. But if you guys have seen these elements in other jackets (or will see in the future), please holler. I would love to place this jacket somehow. Thanks for reading.
 
Messages
16,949
Location
Chicago
Lancer Leathers!! :D
Too Heavy and early for Lancer (they were 70's, 80's) they did make this style but I don't think this is theirs. I don't know the maker but would guess from the paper clip Talon it is from the 50's. The back yoke is very unique in it's placement. TBH, I haven't a clue but it is certainly a cool jacket. I would suspect the cream colored leather is a later date add on, I would guess this was installed when the liner was replaced, which I think it must have been. Otherwise that leather at the neck would certainly show more wear, consistant with the rest of the jacket.
 
Last edited:

Marc mndt

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6,669
Wow, awesome jacket. Congrats!

Judging by the listing's pics I thought the white inner collar patch was a repair of some kind. But it's actually factory original leather, so cool!

Sleeve length is spot on imo. As for the maker I really don't have a clue. I've never seen one like this before. All I can tell you is that it looks absolutely amazing and that the maker did a great job making a cool jacket :)
 

Will Zach

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,353
Location
SoFlo
Damn, I forgot to tag @Monitor in my original post. I will fry in jacket hell for this omission, or at least my punishment will be that the jacket is some Pakistan repro (and not even 5*). ;)
 
Messages
16,350
I can't tell at this moment but double stitch rows around the pockets is a feature that I would consider to be super rare on a vintage USA made jacket so that ought to be a sure tell on who the maker is.
Something about the jacket seems very familiar but I can't place my finger on it. Yet. My brain works slow in finding for what I want it to find, lack of indexing I suppose, but I often do recall the needed information in a few days or so.

Short Paperclip Talon would date it 50's for sure.
 

tmitchell59

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Messages
7,403
Location
Illinois
What we do know is, you got a great looking excellent fitting jacket. Congratulations!

Has that big back yoke that says west coast/California. I agree with the 50s date others have offered.

I've had lining wear repaired with a leather piece in this position. So it does have that look.

If this is original then I would say a small shop maker who used this collar piece for their logo. I have seen this practice before. It would be custom in that regard, made to order. There were small shops across the country making Police related leather jackets and other Uniform related pieces for law enforcement use. Most probably did not make it into the 60s and just vanished.
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,808
Location
China
Underarm gussets? I agree that this could be custom order from small manufacturers. Deadstock zippers are not difficult to find but not many repro makers care about the snaps, so I agree that it is a 40-50s jacket.
The heavy black silk like lining reminds me of Cal leather.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,069
@Will Zach Great Jacket!
Was the seller from UK? I was looking at a bunch of UK origin vintage jackets just like this. Price was reasonable compared to ones with real tags. And the zippers all look legit old. Could these have been the "5Stars" of its days but made for European market?
 

Will Zach

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,353
Location
SoFlo
@Canuck Panda - I bought the jacket from a California ebay seller who said they found the jacket at a SoCal flea market. Likely California-made. The consensus seems to be that it was made by a small local maker, probably sometime during the 50s. I will be on the lookout for the distinctive double stitching around the pockets and the neck patch which may help identify the maker. But if it was a small custom shop the chances are small I'll ever find out. The jacket definitely scratched the itch for a Highwayman-like straight-zip, on a budget, lol.
 

Canuck Panda

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,069
@Canuck Panda - I bought the jacket from a California ebay seller who said they found the jacket at a SoCal flea market. Likely California-made. The consensus seems to be that it was made by a small local maker, probably sometime during the 50s. I will be on the lookout for the distinctive double stitching around the pockets and the neck patch which may help identify the maker. But if it was a small custom shop the chances are small I'll ever find out. The jacket definitely scratched the itch for a Highwayman-like straight-zip, on a budget, lol.
The Johnson of its day then! Makes a lot of sense. Great jacket no matter what the label.
 

Leather Walker

Practically Family
Messages
552
Location
Barcelona
This is an eBay find, a jacket that has been around on eBay for a while, having been checked out and passed on by @JMax and @Marc mndt - too small for them. I have been looking for a vintage straight zip for a while (Cal etc), so I took a chance at this no-name Highwayman style jacket by sending an offer. The P2P measurement turned out to be correct - 21.5, but the sleeve was not 25" but rather 23" (good thing 23" works for me, particularly with 18.5" shoulder width). Hem is 17", so t-shirt only, but it works. Jacket is heavy stiff steerhide (weighs 5.2 lbs for a 38 size, so the heft is definitely there). The seller says it is a California jacket. Color is dark chocolate brown. It looks like it has hardly been used over the years. The design elements (collar, yoke, snap cuffs) all scream 1940s/1950s. The hardware (more on it later) also screams 1940s/1950s. But the smooth leather feels like a 5-year old Branded or Natal, hence my confusion. All 1940s/50s jackets I handled were gnarly and grainy (both horse and steer); this one is smooth and feels new. I really hope for input from vintage heads @JMax , @Marc mndt , @tmitchell59 , @jonbuilder , @Guppy , @AeroFan_07 , @Leigh H (sorry if I missed anyone) for their thoughts on the design of this jacket, age, maker...I will give my thoughts on the age/provenance at the end of this post.

On to pics:

The fit is good, maybe I need to work on my shoulders a bit to fill out the V-shape of the jacket, lol:

View attachment 413078


View attachment 413080

Hardware:

Main zip - the Talon box design and wire pull dates to 1940s (same as on @jonbuilder Star Glove), the teeth are more 1950s.

View attachment 413081

Pocket zips - Talon, dated by Dinerman to mid 1940s (https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/dating-outerwear-by-zipper-design.73884/):

View attachment 413082

Snaps - United Carr, dated by Dinerman to mid 1940s (https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/dating-clothes-by-snaps.75667/) - dots between United and Carr. First pic from Dinerman, second pic from the jacket:

View attachment 413084

View attachment 413085

Design elements - here's where it gets a bit weird:

The cream-colored patch to protect the neck area from wear is leather (no sign of wear):

View attachment 413086

Pockets are lined with leather (with stretch marks, so the maker consciously used "lower quality" leather for pocket lining:

View attachment 413087

Snap cuffs are typical 1940s/1950s, pristine:

View attachment 413088

So what do I think? I think it is a custom 1940s/1950s jacket (maybe a prototype). I think custom because of the leather neck wear protector and leather lining of the pockets. Mass makers would not use leather in these spots. But if you guys have seen these elements in other jackets (or will see in the future), please holler. I would love to place this jacket somehow. Thanks for reading.

First of all, what a find, @Will Zach ! Your post caught me at work but I couldn’t contain myself from replying, only to say my idea.

I referred to Lancer Leathers based on the waistband. Lancer x-zip and this jacket share the same design in that aspect:
Waistband.jpg

e243223527.jpg


Except for belt loops, these waistbands seem to have built following the same pattern: the upper strip is the smallest and the lower one is half as large as the middle. I don't know if it's an irrelevant detail, but I didn't see this design in other makers. Obviously this doesn't determine anything, there are a few details which separate one and other jacket: zippers, back yoke, etc.

Regardless of the maker, this jacket is brutal. My congrats for finding it!
 
Messages
101
Location
San Francisco
Oaky here's my two cents worth of thoughts.
The jacket style looks early 50s to me based on the design and collar size. It's a similar style that I have made for a company in Japan years ago.
I have seen the leather below the collar on jackets from the 60s. Just Leather in San Jose use to do this on their jackets along with their name.
On the leather lined pockets, I don't believe that jackets from the 40s,50s used leather lined pockets but I could be wrong. On the Talon main zipper head the paper clip pull may have been added later, easy to do. I have seen this zipper head and pull originally used on some 40s military bags. I do agree the jacket has the look of being made by a small shop in the USA. You scored a killer jacket enjoy it.
 

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Rgcards

A-List Customer
Messages
425
Whoever made it should be freaking proud! That's the look I was hoping for in my freewheelers Mulholland. You got twice the look at probably an eighth of the price. Just awesome
 
Messages
16,949
Location
Chicago
Yeah without bringing any form of butchers block euphemisims into the thread....this jacket has all the authentcity and gravitas one could ever hope for in this style. I'm not sure what your thoughts are @Will Zach, but I think this might well be the best fitting and coolest looking piece in your stable!
 

Will Zach

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,353
Location
SoFlo
Yeah, thank you Ton and guys. This jacket is the essence of this hobby for me - hunting for a well-fitting vintage jacket at the "right" price. You know it is a game of misses, but the rewards are worth it. The style of this jacket is 1950s and modern at the same time, if you know what I mean. A special piece for sure.
 

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