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Sears Motorcylce Jacket History 1949-1963

tmitchell59

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The mid-late 40s Beck-333 indeed came with a d-pocket and no handwarmer pocket, but apart from that I see more differences than similarities. Grommets on the coin pocket, rollerbuckle on the belt, different back design, different epaulet shape etc.

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Thanks! I was hoping someone would do a comparison. No, it does not look like a Schott made jacket.

I am not familiar with other makers/labels that used this pocketless design. It was probably a copy of the Schott style?

I will go back to chasing rivets. Something will come up.
 

tmitchell59

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Just sold at auction for $615.

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tmitchell59

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A new, totally weird addition to the Sears MC history by @Marc mndt . I have never seen one like it. Label and zipper say c.1950. It looks like nothing I have seen for Sears or any other retailer/label. Weird pockets, weird belt, Hard to tell more details from the poor images.

I did find a Hercules MC with this label, it is posted in this thread. Not the same jacket though. They are both most unique and not seen in any catalog. Experiments? Prototypes?


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tmitchell59

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I copied this reply from another thread to keep in context of Sears MC jackets and this is another interesting piece of this history.


Hi guys
I have the exact same jacket without brand tag, and was wondering who could have made it.

After some time I found this listing on eBay of that same jacket with a « Mayer-Krom Co » label.
After some researches I discovered it was a shop in Milwaukee! This drove me to imagine it might have been made by Monarch (very nice details, French seams all over…)
This post opens a new perspective, maybe monarch manufactured this jacket for Hercules…

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tmitchell59

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This post opens a new perspective, maybe monarch manufactured this jacket for Hercules…

Given Sears headquarters in Chicago, Illinois I have thought about the use of various Mid-Western makers as a supplier for Sears.

Monarch is considered as the maker of the Iconic Sears Hercules half-belt. They no doubt were a supplier for Sears through out the years, but which jackets? I have also seen Sears labeled jackets which are identical to jackets made by Fried-Osterman, which was also in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

There is one style of Hercules MC jacket I have thought were made by Monarch, although I have no proof.

To me this jacket represents a Prototype/experiment, that Sears put their label in. They were always looking for suppliers. I think this one was discontinued because it is just too odd. That is just my impression.

I will have to think more about this, curious what others think.
 

Marc mndt

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An other steerhide Made in California, similar to the one posted on page 10.
I post these pics before the jacket is sold from the site.
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This jacket was listed by a collector from Barcelona who had quite the collection of vintage American mc jackets. Suddenly his shop disappeared from Etsy and the jackets were 'gone'. Half a year later the Hercules popped up on Vinted. Turns out the guy passed away and it was his sister who was selling the remainder of the collection on Vinted. @Monitor helped her out by providing info and reasonable asking prices on the jackets.

Anyway, I was glad to be able to add this one to the collection as I absolutely love the design: Short and boxy, generous upper sleeves, nice v shaped back. Belts were sold separately and unfortunately my jacket didn't come with one.

@JMax was so kind to provide pics and measurements of his original belt, which Theodoros (Thedi Leathers) used to make a perfect reproduction.

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JMax

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This jacket was listed by a collector from Barcelona who had quite the collection of vintage American mc jackets. Suddenly his shop disappeared from Etsy and the jackets were 'gone'. Half a year later the Hercules popped up on Vinted. Turns out the guy passed away and it was his sister who was selling the remainder of the collection on Vinted. @Monitor helped her out by providing info and reasonable asking prices on the jackets.

Anyway, I was glad to be able to add this one to the collection as I absolutely love the design: Short and boxy, generous upper sleeves, nice v shaped back. Belts were sold separately and unfortunately my jacket didn't come with one.

@JMax was so kind to provide pics and measurements of his original belt, which Theodoros (Thedi Leathers) used to make a reproduction.

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One of my favorites.

The belt came out great.
 
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That guy from Spain was a serious collector and had some amazing pieces. His sister is very kind too but she had no clue what the jackets she inherited were worth and was listing them according to condition. She almost sold a mega-grail for like $80 or so, I can't remember anymore.

Anyway, I'm just glad I was able to help her out and she recently wrote to me, telling me how she sold off most of the jackets at the prices I quoted.

In any case, this probably was the only chance I'll ever get to own what is possibly my favorite diagonal-zip jacket but I knew how it would've all ended there and then; I'd just baby it, being too afraid to wear it. Best it's with someone who can enjoy it.
 

Blackadder

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I just got mine from Japan. Doing a photo comparison of two very common 50s Sears Hercules.

One can obviously see from all the photos here that there are changes in the design but IMO the change in details also demonstrate a decline in the quality of the brand.
The coin pocket on the early plaid lined version is artfully curved. One of my two Sears is still curved but not as pretty and nicely done as the plaid one, the other one as well as Marc's is simply straight.
The D pocket has changed from adding an additional leather patch to simply stitching on the same piece of leather.
What may not be shown on the photo is the leather has also changed to being thinner, lighter and softer over the years. There is a change of the shoulder seam construction as well which I reckon may have to do with the thickness or stiffness of the leather.


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Location
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I just got mine from Japan. Doing a photo comparison of two very common 50s Sears Hercules.

One can obviously see from all the photos here that there are changes in the design but IMO the change in details also demonstrate a decline in the quality of the brand.
The coin pocket on the early plaid lined version is artfully curved. One of my two Sears is still curved but not as pretty and nicely done as the plaid one, the other one as well as Marc's is simply straight.
The D pocket has changed from adding an additional leather patch to simply stitching on the same piece of leather.
What may not be shown on the photo is the leather has also changed to being thinner, lighter and softer over the years. There is a change of the shoulder seam construction as well which I reckon may have to do with the thickness or stiffness of the leather.


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The scalloped coin pocket is just straight up art. What a beautiful jacket. Sears did it better than anyone else. There’s just something about them. Just annihilates the Buco line IMO. Outstanding!
 

tmitchell59

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5,885
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I just got mine from Japan. Doing a photo comparison of two very common 50s Sears Hercules.

One can obviously see from all the photos here that there are changes in the design but IMO the change in details also demonstrate a decline in the quality of the brand.
The coin pocket on the early plaid lined version is artfully curved. One of my two Sears is still curved but not as pretty and nicely done as the plaid one, the other one as well as Marc's is simply straight.
The D pocket has changed from adding an additional leather patch to simply stitching on the same piece of leather.
What may not be shown on the photo is the leather has also changed to being thinner, lighter and softer over the years. There is a change of the shoulder seam construction as well which I reckon may have to do with the thickness or stiffness of the leather.


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The difference in makers continues through out Sears MC history. A variety of makers make a variety of jacket. Calls from Sears to reduce cost no doubt influenced makers decisions. The jackets you posted were made by different makers. The through belt Steerhide is most probably California Sportswear, but they did not make all the through belt jackets, only the jackets with the "made in California" tag. Later through belts were made by Appalachian Tanned and Tailored. I believe the California jackets were the early 50s the later Appalachian.

This is the Appalachian

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Blackadder

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The difference in makers continues through out Sears MC history. A variety of makers make a variety of jacket. Calls from Sears to reduce cost no doubt influenced makers decisions. The jackets you posted were made by different makers. The through belt Steerhide is most probably California Sportswear, but they did not make all the through belt jackets, only the jackets with the "made in California" tag. Later through belts were made by Appalachian Tanned and Tailored. I believe the California jackets were the early 50s the later Appalachian.

This is the Appalachian

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Wow. Did not notice that even the through belt has so many versions. I see mine is different from Marc's and your Appalachian. That makes it three different versions already. A even more frequent change of supplier than say RRL today.
 

Wildhorses

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Awesome! This one has an early MC back design. Is it yours or is it for sale somewhere? I love my Sears Oakbrook nylon jacket.

In case you missed it.


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Of course I remember, I was a bit tempted by this new one but it would have been really expensive to get.
The HB non leather is for sale in Japan, one of the usual sellers. It's very expensive for a non-leather, maybe it could be found cheaper out ebay :
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1444879458...pid=5338596370&customid=&toolid=10001&mkevt=1
 

JMax

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Of course I remember, I was a bit tempted by this new one but it would have been really expensive to get.
The HB non leather is for sale in Japan, one of the usual sellers. It's very expensive for a non-leather, maybe it could be found cheaper out ebay :
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1444879458...pid=5338596370&customid=&toolid=10001&mkevt=1

That is more than I would pay for this type of jacket, but they are rare. I would understand if someone bought it at that price if it were in better condition.

I think you are right too, it probably is for sale for less somewhere else. I’m actually scared to jump on the Japanese auction/sales sites- too much temptation.
 

Wildhorses

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That is more than I would pay for this type of jacket, but they are rare. I would understand if someone bought it at that price if it were in better condition.

I think you are right too, it probably is for sale for less somewhere else. I’m actually scared to jump on the Japanese auction/sales sites- too much temptation.
When I realise the quantity of viintage US clothing thet was bought by Japanese people, I could imagine that they love them a lot. But most of them are only resellers of course.
 

Blackadder

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When I realise the quantity of viintage US clothing thet was bought by Japanese people, I could imagine that they love them a lot. But most of them are only resellers of course.
There must be lots more end users. I was in one of the vintage shops at Goenji window shopping since most of the items there were expensive hot items in Japan. I saw a guy paying probably one to two grand for a vintage 50s or 60s worn Lee Stormrider.
 
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