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Recently picked up a vintage Navy bridgecoat.

freakazoid

Familiar Face
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53
Location
United States
You can click the images to go to a bigger picture.
Was searching ebay for a WW1 peacoat actually and there just happens to actually be a post-WW1 peacoat up, still up. It's still the WW1 style, not sure when it changed. Really tempting but I think right now my wife might kill me if she found out I spent that much on some clothing. But the same seller also had a bridgecoat dated October of 1923, at least that is what is written on the tag. This is in an extremely nice condition, as in all but NIB. The only real wear appears to be just some very slight fraying on the thread that forms the button holes on the front, and just the ones that would of actually been buttoned on the front.



Any ideas on what the date range this style was used? I've read through the Navy peacoat guide a few times but that almost exclusively deals with peacoats and not bridge coats. There doesn't seem to be as much info about the bridge coats that I've seen. Haven't read through the massive 91 page thread on pea coats yet. Also, were these Officer exclusive or did Chiefs also wear these? And with what uniform?

Closeup of the front buttons.


It is missing one button from the flap that closes up the bottom back slit, whatever those are called.


In the add for it the seller stated that the stripe on the end of the sleeve was done away with after 1947. That part is interesting, it's like a flatter section that you can feel.


I'm not sure but I'm assuming the chain for a coat hook is how they originally came, when I flipped it over to look at the back there is no thread coming out the back, and has an interesting sewing pattern; the collar is definitely not coming off lol.


These have those throat straps, don't remember what they are called.


Really curious if anyone knows what this opening is for. It's only on the left side, when wearing. From the outside it blends right in with the seam. It allows access to the inside but it's not big enough to get your hand through, and you have to almost reach behind you to reach it. And as you can see in the picture it's right next to a spot that also actually allows you to reach inside, both sides have this part. The actual access hole is also connected to the regular deep pocket, with one pocket on each side.


Speaking of the pockets, found this patch at the bottom of the right pocket. I've only been able to so far find one picture of this patch, https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vtg-navy-officers-boat-cloak-ww1-522663100 and it is on this really neat cloak that I've never heard of before and in about the same location as the bridge coats coat hook chain. Actually looking just now on the bridge coat I can see a very faint spot where it would of gone right below the chain. That's really awesome. You can also see the outline in the picture of the chain. Sucks that it came off but I'm really glad that it's still with it.


Here's the white tag that's inside a pocket. A quick Google of NSD Form 65 doesn't seem to come up with anything, although I think NSD might be Naval Support Depot. I wonder what it is in reference too. Unless maybe the tag itself is the form. Here is the big reason for getting this bridge coat, besides the post-WW1 awesomeness and that it is in amazing condition, I share the last name with whoever owned this. Is there any way to look up who this might of been?


Speaking of this pocket. It's kind of interesting. It's up higher and closer to the edge than the other pocket. Also the inside is kind of narrow, and deep which you can see where I'm pointing which is the bottom of the pocket. While typing this all up I was wondering what this could of possible been used for when an idea struck me. Last month I went to a local gun show and found a booth with a guy selling a bunch of vintage three-draw telescopes, I ended up getting one; the seller said he believes it's from the 1820's-1840's from France. It fits actually perfectly in there. and comes out easily. The AK74 bayonet is for size reference when completely closed up.
 
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Gamma68

One Too Many
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1,929
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Detroit, MI
Very cool coat that doubles as a historic artifact. I love the history associated with a garment like this. I imagine it will be tough to learn about A. Anderson since the name is so common. I don’t have the knowledge to answer most of your questions but the term is “throat latch” for the piece buttoned under the collar.
 

Royohboy

New in Town
Messages
15
This being an officers' (and chiefs') coat I'd venture a guess that the hole on the left side is for the sword.
Good luck googling A. Anderson, you'll find a ton of references to Johnny Valentine ;)
 

Peacoat

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@freakazoid: Your theory of the inside pocket being for a telescope is a good one; unfortunately, I don't think it is correct. The military adopted the binocular over the telescope in the mid 19th century. I think by the time this coat came along, maybe 75 years later, any specific use telescope pockets would have long since been discontinued. My relatively modern bridge coat has the same pocket. They are the standard "G-1" pocket still in use today. Also called a map pocket, and civilians sometimes call it a "pistol pocket."

And yes, the slit is for a sword. My bridge coat has the same slit.

I believe NSD stands for Naval Supply Depot and not Naval Support Depot.

The black stripe on the lower sleeve you refer to is a rank stripe. They are still in use in Navy uniforms, although I'm not sure the black is still in use. I know the gold is. The black stripes on the sleeves indicate rank thusly:

One stripe is for an Ensign, O-1 (same as Army 2nd Lieutenant)
One and a half stripes are for a Lt. Junior Grade, O-2 (Army 1st Lieutenant)
Two stripes for a Lieutenant O-3 (Army Captain)
Two and a half stripes for Lt. Commander, with the half stripe in the center O-4 (Army Major)
Three stripes for Commander O-5 (Army Lt. Colonel)
Four stripes for Captain O-6 (Army Colonel)

On current bridge coats, the rank stripe is no longer in use, having been discontinued in the 1950s, if I remember correctly. Officers now wear their rank on shoulder boards attached to the loops on the shoulders. Chiefs wear no rank.

Below is a link to Doctor Damage's excellent thread on bridge coats. He put a lot of work in this project. Unfortunately, his image links are no longer valid. Evidently there was a problem with his third party server, and the images are currently lost to us. This is an active thread and is different from the link to his bridge coat guide I posted a day or so back.

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/u-s-navy-bridge-coats.75498/

When I learned Photobuckt was going to charge several hundred dollars a year to use their site, I downloaded all of my Peacoat Guide images to my hard drive and then replaced all of the Photobucket pictures with the same pictures from my hard drive. I had advance notice: many did not, and lost all of their pictures unless they were willing to pay the exorbitant fees demanded by PB. This may have been what happened to Doctor Damage. If he has his pictures elsewhere, perhaps he could repost them in his Guide and in the above thread. They are valuable research tools, much weakened by the now lack of photographs.
 

freakazoid

Familiar Face
Messages
53
Location
United States
Very cool coat that doubles as a historic artifact. I love the history associated with a garment like this. I imagine it will be tough to learn about A. Anderson since the name is so common. I don’t have the knowledge to answer most of your questions but the term is “throat latch” for the piece buttoned under the collar.

Yeah. Don't think it will be easy, if I can find a way to look up old records like that. Thanks for the name.

This being an officers' (and chiefs') coat I'd venture a guess that the hole on the left side is for the sword.
Good luck googling A. Anderson, you'll find a ton of references to Johnny Valentine ;)

Had to look that name up. Just Johnny Valentine came up with a pro-wrestler, was confused by that. Then I added in A. Anderson, lol. Some nice rockabilly.

@freakazoid: Your theory of the inside pocket being for a telescope is a good one; unfortunately, I don't think it is correct. The military adopted the binocular over the telescope in the mid 19th century. I think by the time this coat came along, maybe 75 years later, any specific use telescope pockets would have long since been discontinued. My relatively modern bridge coat has the same pocket. They are the standard "G-1" pocket still in use today. Also called a map pocket, and civilians sometimes call it a "pistol pocket."

And yes, the slit is for a sword. My bridge coat has the same slit.

I believe NSD stands for Naval Supply Depot and not Naval Support Depot.

The black stripe on the lower sleeve you refer to is a rank stripe. They are still in use in Navy uniforms, although I'm not sure the black is still in use. I know the gold is. The black stripes on the sleeves indicate rank thusly:

One stripe is for an Ensign, O-1 (same as Army 2nd Lieutenant)
One and a half stripes are for a Lt. Junior Grade, O-2 (Army 1st Lieutenant)
Two stripes for a Lieutenant O-3 (Army Captain)
Two and a half stripes for Lt. Commander, with the half stripe in the center O-4 (Army Major)
Three stripes for Commander O-5 (Army Lt. Colonel)
Four stripes for Captain O-6 (Army Colonel)

On current bridge coats, the rank stripe is no longer in use, having been discontinued in the 1950s, if I remember correctly. Officers now wear their rank on shoulder boards attached to the loops on the shoulders. Chiefs wear no rank.

Below is a link to Doctor Damage's excellent thread on bridge coats. He put a lot of work in this project. Unfortunately, his image links are no longer valid. Evidently there was a problem with his third party server, and the images are currently lost to us. This is an active thread and is different from the link to his bridge coat guide I posted a day or so back.

https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/u-s-navy-bridge-coats.75498/

When I learned Photobuckt was going to charge several hundred dollars a year to use their site, I downloaded all of my Peacoat Guide images to my hard drive and then replaced all of the Photobucket pictures with the same pictures from my hard drive. I had advance notice: many did not, and lost all of their pictures unless they were willing to pay the exorbitant fees demanded by PB. This may have been what happened to Doctor Damage. If he has his pictures elsewhere, perhaps he could repost them in his Guide and in the above thread. They are valuable research tools, much weakened by the now lack of photographs.

If it was for telescopes, I can see it being kept merely for tradition from older style officer coats; if they had them. Definitely wouldn't work for holding a pistol.
The sword slit is interesting. Due to the sword's hilt I'm assuming that the coat would of been warn over the scabbard with it pushed out the hole and then put the sword in. Found the navy uniform regulations for correct wear of the sword, https://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-...ulations/uniformcomponents/Pages/3501_84.aspx Mentions the bridge coat in the Note at the bottom. Looks like the strap on the scabbard is what goes through the hole. Although I've also found pictures where it looks like they are wearing a belt on the outside of the bridge coat that the sword is attached to. https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/OnlineLibrary/photos/images/h75000/h75853.jpg
The black stripe looks like it's merely a design in the wool itself, not sewn on top like normal rank stripe would be. Looking really closely I can see thread. I wonder if for each rank it was separated there and another stripe added in, sort of like a spacer. There are also what look like shoulder board attachment points, maybe those are for those officer... round shoulder pad things with the fringe.
Thanks for the link suggestion. Looks like there is a lot of useful information.
Lots of places lost valuable information when photobucket did that. I believe they have changed to allow photos to be embeded again. I switched to imgur after that. Looks like Doctor Damage was using a different provider though. Doing a little digging it looks like the website he was using actually changed from postimg.org to https://postimages.org I wonder if the pictures are actually still there but just need to have the address updated. Will have to do some looking around.
 
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Ernest P Shackleton

One Too Many
Messages
1,220
Location
Midwest
I believe the US Naval Academy Midshipmen dress coat is similar to this, right? I bought, what I assume was a US Naval Academy dress coat, at a vintage store in the 80s with three black stripes on the cuff. I bet the thing weighed 10+ LBs.
 

freakazoid

Familiar Face
Messages
53
Location
United States
It's has a real nice heft to it. The shipping label on the box mine came in says 8lb.

Also, I did it!
Figured out the updated image information for Doctor Damage's pictures. So if you open one of the broken image links it will give you an error message. For example this one http://postimg.org/image/5snbdp41l/ All you have to do is change ".org" to ".cc" and hit enter and then it will take you to the actual image. The image file name "5snbdp41l" is changed with the new address so you can't just copy past that into the new address. But it will auto change it for you when it redirects to the image. So http://postimg.org/image/5snbdp41l/ changes to https://postimg.cc/DWrvHBWw
 

freakazoid

Familiar Face
Messages
53
Location
United States
Update! Found something very interesting about the buttons. I had posted this up in a Facebook group and someone questioned the buttons. He said they weren't Navy and thought they might be for the Surgeon General, on account that in the picture it looks a bit like a caduceus. While I knew it wasn't that it did have me looking a little more closely at them. Took me a while but I ended up finding this, http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/for...s-military-uniform-buttons-interesting-facts/ Post #8 These are the buttons used by the US Coast Guard pre-1941, and also by the Revenue Cutter Service, which was a service that merged with the United States Life-Saving Service in 1915 to form the Coast Guard. Pre-41 Coast Guard kept the same button as the RCS, can't see a difference in the link. On the post-41 buttons the eagle is switched to face left, and the boarder looks fatter..
And as a bonus fact on the back the buttons are marked,
Upper half: "PAT", and then what looks like maybe a small "D", "N.S. MEYER INC"
Bottom Half: "NEW YORK"
Now I need to do more research on their uniforms, although I'm betting it is going to closely match the Navy's.
post-11058-0-03650700-1365243852.jpg

 

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