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Questions About the United States Navy Peacoat

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
To stay focused: The question is not what someone should do now. The question is what the Navy did then.
Start in 1940.
What was the button and what year did the Navy stop using it on new coats?
What was the thread and what year did the Navy stop using it on new coats?
What was the sewing pattern and what year did the Navy stop using it on new coats?

For those without the institutional knowledge but with an actual coat from 1948 or 1953 or so forth, the anecdotal data from your own coat would help, especially because "Black Swan" examples sometimes rewrite history.

Thank you.

Thank you! I must have skipped over the “differentiated by year” portion and was thinking more of “current best practices”. I didn’t mean to derail away from authentic restoration information.

I DO have a 1949 in very nice shape but it’s in the k closet of my two year old. I’ll pull it out in the morning and look at the button thread and patterns.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
72
Thank you very much for the observations on the rotated anchors and variations in sewing patterns.
From what I can see from my coats, maybe there isn't a US Navy button regulation. Hope my two cents helped you.
Thank you! I must have skipped over the “differentiated by year” portion and was thinking more of “current best practices”. I didn’t mean to derail away from authentic restoration information.

I DO have a 1949 in very nice shape but it’s in the k closet of my two year old. I’ll pull it out in the morning and look at the button thread and patterns.
Thank you! I must have skipped over the “differentiated by year” portion and was thinking more of “current best practices”. I didn’t mean to derail away from authentic restoration information.

I DO have a 1949 in very nice shape but it’s in the k closet of my two year old. I’ll pull it out in the morning and look at the button thread and patterns.
1949 is almost regarded as the Holy Grail of peacoats. It's an exceptional year.which usually has thick soft Kersey Wool. I'm pretty sure the thread on my coats is cotton.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
72
Thank you very much. I've previously read your useful posts, but not memorized them.

My best guess so far is that this coat would be a nearly best match for me, from a lounge member, but I don't know whether it's still available:

[/URL]

You and he both have claimed to be at or near size 42. He wrote that he could wear a sweater easily under the 44 but switched to a 42. You wrote that you could wear a sweater under a 42 but a 40 would be a trimmer fit.

My purpose is for a tall, lean, athletic size-42 person, in the coldest part of winter, buttoned, over a heavy shirt and heavy sweater, while retaining easy arm movement.

I would prefer what is supposedly the best kersey from circa 1950, but I am more likely to find the right size from circa 1970. I know that longs were made but it is difficult enough to find sizes over 40 so I expect to settle on a regular.
Just another 2 cents from me - 1949 might be the exceptional Kersey.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
A couple pictures of my '49.

I blocked out the Name and Service number but did my best getting the tag. It's definitly the 49/50/51 era.

The kersey feels noticably firmer in hand than my coats from the 60s and early 70s. It's Subtle, all the coats have a bit of a knap, but this one seems very directional, like brush down is smooth but up it feels rough and catchy. The material feels thicker but these arw made to spec so I think it must be the firmness. The only way I can describe it is like these use wool hairs that are thicker...
Anyway it is SUPER SUBTLE, and really only a collectors thing. All the Kersey coats are fantastic.

But the buttons, they all have the anchor rightside up, so orientation was taken into account.
I was wrong about the sewing, they're definitely sewn in an + pattern.

Also the vertical part was sewn first, then the horizontal over it.

These were sewn into the pocket bag, as I recommended, while the ones from ‘68 were sewn through the pocket bag. I don’t know if that’s a date thing or just a sewer thing.

Also the ‘49 buttons are sewn into the inside of the coat but not entirely through it. They catch the inside facing, but you can’t see the stitching from the inside.

The 70s coats have an H pattern you can both see and feel on the inside facing. The buttons on the 70s coats were all finished off and tied on the inside, while the 49 was finished and tied off on the outside of the coat.

Since the coats after 68 can only be fastened left over right, the buttons on the left side have been stitched firmly to the coat. They aren’t sewn loose with enough thread to create a shank, because there aren’t any button holes for them to go through.

On the 49 which can be buttoned left over right or right over left, all the buttons have sewn and wrapped shanks.

Some of my ‘49 buttons have thread tails hanging off where the shank wrapping unwrapped. I took a match to it and it burns clean to ash, no melting or odor, so it is a thick cotton coat thread.
I just did the same to a ‘69, also cotton.

I have an appointment I need to get to, but if anything needs pictures or clarification, post them up!

I have the one from ‘49, 2 from ‘68, one from ‘69 and one from 1970. The 49 and the 1970 look almost unworn, so I’m reasonably sure the button stitching is done in factory.


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Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
Thanks for the information. That is a classic 1949/1950 tag. My best guess would be 1949.

I imagine the sewing through the pocket bag would have been operator error. Probably under a lot of pressure to produce because of the influx of sailors due to the Vietnam war.
 

VansonRider

One of the Regulars
Messages
258
I still can’t quite believe I found in in such pristine condition, and in a size 44.
It was from an Etsy store that sold phone cases and t shirts, and this one coat. They advertised it as from the 60’s and in great shape, which would have been a fantastic find, as is, and then it shows up in the mail and WOW.

There are a few more differences, extra row of armpit stitching, and the shoulder is noticeably roped compared to the later models.

All very minor differences to be sure, but they do add up.
 

vintagewool

Familiar Face
Messages
84
Thank you! I must have skipped over the “differentiated by year” portion and was thinking more of “current best practices”. I didn’t mean to derail away from authentic restoration information.

I DO have a 1949 in very nice shape but it’s in the k closet of my two year old. I’ll pull it out in the morning and look at the button thread and patterns.

The initial post was indeed about past practices but you did not overlook the "differentiated" part because it wasn't there yet. Your quick-draw replies were overlapping with my edits. I will absorb the recent posts before I comment further. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

vintagewool

Familiar Face
Messages
84
A couple pictures of my '49.

Thank you very much for the illuminating observations. That the USN was still using cotton thread in 1969 is the kind of detail that fascinates me.

One basic question that I'm still not clear on is whether the last button before pewter is identical to a 1940 button.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
72
Thank you very much for the illuminating observations. That the USN was still using cotton thread in 1969 is the kind of detail that fascinates me.

One basic question that I'm still not clear on is whether the last button before pewter is identical to a 1940 button.
I compared my 2 WWII, my 1950 and 2 of my 1969 coats. The buttons on all 5 coats were pretty much identical to the photo of your 1949. There might be very minute and I do mean minute differences. I'm sure these would be attributed to the molds that were used. Every mold I'm sure was not IDENTICAL. If different contractors were used through the years then maybe different molds were used also.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
Thank you very much for the illuminating observations. That the USN was still using cotton thread in 1969 is the kind of detail that fascinates me.

One basic question that I'm still not clear on is whether the last button before pewter is identical to a 1940 button.
The modern buttons replaced the 13 star buttons when the WWII peacoat replaced the WWI peacoat. As best I can determine, this happened in either 1936 or 1938. Other than the pewter years, The modern button was on the peacoat until the end.
 

vintagewool

Familiar Face
Messages
84
Would someone confirm, for all the kersey BLUE peacoats:
1. The buttons were BLACK?
2. The thread was BLACK?
Also:
3. Was the thread an "upholstery" thread or some other special kind?
4. Where could I get a low per-button price including shipping for a USN-matching button?
This review's pictures look like these "Peacoat" buttons do NOT match, especially in thickness:


Thank you.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
The buttons were black. I think the thread was black to match the buttons, but I"m not near a peacoat to check.

The nylon thread is superior as it is stronger and will last longer.

A number of years ago I went to eBay and got a loose lot of peacoat buttons. Perfect match for the originals.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
72
Would someone confirm, for all the kersey BLUE peacoats:
1. The buttons were BLACK?
2. The thread was BLACK?
Also:
3. Was the thread an "upholstery" thread or some other special kind?
4. Where could I get a low per-button price including shipping for a USN-matching button?
This review's pictures look like these "Peacoat" buttons do NOT match, especially in thickness:

[/URL]
[/URL]

Thank you.
My 2 kersey WWII (the years are questionable), my post WWII coats (1950-1969 all Kersey), and my 2 Melton coats All have black buttons w/ black thread.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
72
If you let me see the tags on the WWII, I might be able to narrow the range of years for you.
Hello Peacoat - How are you? I hope everything is good. One of my WWII coats came with no inside tag. Is is however in Excellent shape. It fits me like a size 46, and the sleeves are plenty long enough. Size 46 in a WWII coat is quite rare. My 2nd WWII coat is actually a US Coast Guard coat. I will take a cell phone picture and send it to you. This coat is in EXCELLENT shape, and fits even a tinch larger then the first. Both have the latches.
 

Peacoat

*
Bartender
Messages
6,373
Location
South of Nashville
Hello Peacoat - How are you? I hope everything is good. One of my WWII coats came with no inside tag. Is is however in Excellent shape. It fits me like a size 46, and the sleeves are plenty long enough. Size 46 in a WWII coat is quite rare. My 2nd WWII coat is actually a US Coast Guard coat. I will take a cell phone picture and send it to you. This coat is in EXCELLENT shape, and fits even a tinch larger then the first. Both have the latches.
Things are going well here, thank you.

I think I remember when you got the CG coat years ago. If I remember correctly, the CG tags are identical to the Navy tags. At least the ones I have seen are identical.
 

spoonbelly1950

Familiar Face
Messages
72
Things are going well here, thank you.

I think I remember when you got the CG coat years ago. If I remember correctly, the CG tags are identical to the Navy tags. At least the ones I have seen are identical.
I might not be able to get the photo of the tag to you till tomorrow . I think retirement is busier than having a job.
 

AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,740
Things are going well here, thank you.

I think I remember when you got the CG coat years ago. If I remember correctly, the CG tags are identical to the Navy tags. At least the ones I have seen are identical.
For reference:
2 different labels, 2 different CG peacoats.
Also, i believe i have seen somewhere labels for CG peacoats that have Coast Guard included on the label as opposed to Navy.
I’m thinking maybe it was on more modern versions. Idk
B

C3B33B2E-1DE5-4B6A-9A19-FF2C8EB75AE1.jpeg
 

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