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Questions About the United States Navy Peacoat

Dudley

Familiar Face
Messages
91
I am surprised as well. I will look it over carefully when it arrives. We will see if it is even possible to latch around the wide lapels. Here is the front pic
Confirmed. Fouled anchor buttons in the correct places. The throat latch on the 1959 seems credible. Everything fits. A note, the lapels are about 1" narrower than my 1966 or 1974 coat. It looks like a completely different jacket. B
 

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Casey74

New in Town
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
Anyone heard of Rau & co from Chicago making navy peacoats? Saw this listed and didn’t know if it was authentic. There is a number on the label that might be a contract number? QM 62 ISP. Thoughts?
 

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Casey74

New in Town
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
I also couldn’t find if kersey wool was virgin or reprocessed. Everything I found only said kersey was more of a process and not a type of wool?
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,353
Location
South of Nashville
I also couldn’t find if kersey wool was virgin or reprocessed. Everything I found only said kersey was more of a process and not a type of wool?
Don't get too deep in the weeds as to what "Kersey" wool is. The important thing is that's what the Navy called it. That's all we need to know to distinguish it from the other material–Melton.

Years ago I had one guy argue with me that Melton was the superior shell for peacoats–A far nicer material than Kersey. That position was based on what he had read doing research on the internet. He had never owned a peacoat of either material, nor had he worn one or even handled one. But based on what he had read, he determined that Melton was the nicer material, and that Kersey was inferior. He wouldn't listen to my explanation of the practical differences between the two.

So, all you need to know is that Kersey is the name the Navy gave the material used for the shell of its peacoats until 1980.*
_____
* During the late 1970s there were a few contracts let for the Melton shell, but there were relatively few peacoats manufactured using this material during that period. Of course beginning in 1980, Melton was specified in all of the contracts. An ill advised cost saving measure used by the Navy.
 

Casey74

New in Town
Messages
4
Location
Michigan
The main reason I ask, is because the tag states “100% reprocessed wool.” Does that mean it’s inferior or is this commonly what peacoats are made of?
 

Dudley

Familiar Face
Messages
91
I think the bottom line maybe behind your question is if the jacket is a quality jacket. If you are looking for a quality peacoat I will tell you directly the vintage US Navy peacoats from WWII through th early 70' s are the best quality jackets you will ever own. No after market product will come close. I say this because the jackets have a stiffness to them that feels great, is windproof and waterproof. And they look fantastic once you dial in your size. Good luck in your search. This forum can help you with that if you take the plunge.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,353
Location
South of Nashville
I think the bottom line maybe behind your question is if the jacket is a quality jacket. If you are looking for a quality peacoat I will tell you directly the vintage US Navy peacoats from WWII through th early 70' s are the best quality jackets you will ever own. No after market product will come close. I say this because the jackets have a stiffness to them that feels great, is windproof and waterproof. And they look fantastic once you dial in your size. Good luck in your search. This forum can help you with that if you take the plunge.
Actually through 1979, but you are exactly right about the quality of those old peacoats.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
60
I think the bottom line maybe behind your question is if the jacket is a quality jacket. If you are looking for a quality peacoat I will tell you directly the vintage US Navy peacoats from WWII through th early 70' s are the best quality jackets you will ever own. No after market product will come close. I say this because the jackets have a stiffness to them that feels great, is windproof and waterproof. And they look fantastic once you dial in your size. Good luck in your search. This forum can help you with that if you take the plunge.
I'm totally sold on the old peacoats. I like the Meltons but I'm crazy about the Kerseys. I can't fit even 1 more coat in my woolens closet. Another INCREDIBLE piece of clothing are the US Navy 13 button Kersey stovepipe pants.. They are made of the same material as the peacoats. They also would be the best pair of pants you will ever own. BEAUTIFUL.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
240
I outgrew my size 40 pea coats, I have two from ‘69. So I ran an eBay search looking for a 42 or 44.
They do pop up, but few and far between and never cheap.
Then I randomly ran a search through Etsy…

Guys, I now have a size FORTY SIX (46!!!)Kersey wool peacoat, 1970 issue date from Dale Fashions!
I don’t even care that it’s big on me!
I can wear it layered over my Filson Vest, and a wooly pulley at the same time!
I can stuff the pockets and it still drapes wonderfully.
The fitted peacoat with just room for a thin sweater or a button down, looks awesome, but man, now that I’m a dad it is NICE to be able to layer with abandon and still be able to fill my pockets with a binky, a bag of wipes, a banana, and some stacking cups and still walk and sit freely!
Best winter coat ever made. And I have some long and thick guard's coats, too.
Classic and timeless but sporty and youthful!
Gentleman, here’s to the coat my wife calls “gorgeous”,
the Navy Pea Coat!
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
240
Confirmed. Fouled anchor buttons in the correct places. The throat latch on the 1959 seems credible. Everything fits. A note, the lapels are about 1" narrower than my 1966 or 1974 coat. It looks like a completely different jacket.
Great info to have.
The enormous lapels are one of the best features.
I wonder if they were using the 8 button pattern but putting 6 buttons on it…
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,353
Location
South of Nashville
Anyone heard of Rau & co from Chicago making navy peacoats? Saw this listed and didn’t know if it was authentic. There is a number on the label that might be a contract number? QM 62 ISP. Thoughts?
Now that I have had an opportunity to think about this coat, here is my take on it. Rau and Company was a wartime supplier of peacoats for the Navy. The Rau name was a big one in retail in Chicago in the past. Not a far stretch for them to jump in to manufacturing for the Navy. The label is probably a legitimate one, but most of the numbers are cut off, and I can't research them. The one unexplained anomaly is the lining in the pockets. Don't know how they got away with that.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
60
I outgrew my size 40 pea coats, I have two from ‘69. So I ran an eBay search looking for a 42 or 44.
They do pop up, but few and far between and never cheap.
Then I randomly ran a search through Etsy…

Guys, I now have a size FORTY SIX (46!!!)Kersey wool peacoat, 1970 issue date from Dale Fashions!
I don’t even care that it’s big on me!
I can wear it layered over my Filson Vest, and a wooly pulley at the same time!
I can stuff the pockets and it still drapes wonderfully.
The fitted peacoat with just room for a thin sweater or a button down, looks awesome, but man, now that I’m a dad it is NICE to be able to layer with abandon and still be able to fill my pockets with a binky, a bag of wipes, a banana, and some stacking cups and still walk and sit freely!
Best winter coat ever made. And I have some long and thick guard's coats, too.
Classic and timeless but sporty and youthful!
Gentleman, here’s to the coat my wife calls “gorgeous”,
the Navy Pea Coat!
I recently started looking on ebay for a coat for someone else.. I noticed that the coats in very good to excellent condition are few and far between and they are significantly more expensive as are the larger sizes ( 42, 44, 46 ). The larger sizes were always a bit scarce. The prices for mediocre condition coats are also higher. I'm very glad I bought mine when L did - 10 - 12 years ago. I'm speaking in terms of Kersey coats. Melton coats are a lot more common.
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Me wearing my recently acquired US Navy WWII era peacoat (one photo with the collar popped up). First time I’ve owned the real deal. Found it on eBay, $77.05 out the door. The seller’s product title did little to attract attention, lucky me. Was listed as a "1951 Sailor Peacoat." Not sure why the seller had that specific year listed, but it's definitely WWII era: 10 buttons, 8 showing, attached throat latch, one row of stitching three inches above the cuff, smooth kersey wool, inner tag wording. The few and far between other WWII era peacoats I ran across on eBay and other platforms had WWII, Vintage, US Navy, etc., in their product title, and those were getting lots of hits, not to mention higher asking prices. Mine had only one hit--me. My peacoat size could also be a factor. Might not be a lot of folks interested in a size 34 peacoat!

My peacoat is in pristine condition, even button holes are still stiff. I had the sleeves and coat length shortened to better fit my petite frame.

I feel immensely proud and honored to own and wear such a cool piece of U.S. history! EDIT: In the midst of my excitement over this great find, I initially forgot to thank, in this post, Peacoat and his guide to US Navy Peacoats, for steering me in the right direction. Without Peacoat, as well as this thread, I would continue to wear my civilian Schott 740N, not really knowing much about US Navy peacoats or giving any thought to owning one. Nothing wrong with my Schott, but boy having a real peacoat is something pretty darn special!

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Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,353
Location
South of Nashville
Ms. Preppy, this is an excellent first post. You obviously have done your research on these pieces of history, including reading my guide on US Navy peacoats.

Congratulations on scoring a great peacoat. As is often the case, these sellers often have no idea about the date they attach to the coats. Had the correct date been given, the coat likely would have gone for more than twice what you paid for it
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Ms. Preppy, this is an excellent first post. You obviously have done your research on these pieces of history, including reading my guide on US Navy peacoats.

Congratulations on scoring a great peacoat. As is often the case, these sellers often have no idea about the date they attach to the coats. Had the correct date been given, the coat likely would have gone for more than twice what you paid for it
Thank you so much, Peacoat! Your Guide To Dating the History of US Navy Peacoats was my introduction to this forum and an invaluable resource as I began my hunt for a real peacoat. A belated thank you is in order! I continue to refer to your guide as I would like to add another US Navy peacat (8 buttons, 6 showing) to my collection.

The US Navy peacoat newbie that I am is also learning a lot from reading this thread. Haven't yet read all 142 pages, but I'm getting there!
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
60
Thank you so much, Peacoat! Your Guide To Dating the History of US Navy Peacoats was my introduction to this forum and an invaluable resource as I began my hunt for a real peacoat. A belated thank you is in order! I continue to refer to your guide as I would like to add another US Navy peacat (8 buttons, 6 showing) to my collection.

The US Navy peacoat newbie that I am is also learning a lot from reading this thread. Haven't yet read all 142 pages, but I'm getting there!
Wow, that was one good buy. A WWII coat in that condition and price doesn't happen often. I have 2 WWII coats in Excellent condition and the buttons were also tight when I bought them. I also have a few postwar coats. Be careful though - peacoats may become addicting.
 

Preppy Climber

Familiar Face
Messages
52
Wow, that was one good buy. A WWII coat in that condition and price doesn't happen often. I have 2 WWII coats in Excellent condition and the buttons were also tight when I bought them. I also have a few postwar coats. Be careful though - peacoats may become addicting.
Thank you! I can see from reading this thread just how addicting peacoats can become. We'll see if I can stop after three!
 

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