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Sears Motorcylce Jacket History 1949-1963

Will Zach

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Not strictly pertinent to the thread, but since the question was asked here, I think this is the best place to answer.

50s Peter's CR (from a japanese website):

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Somebody in Japan (?) is reviving Peter's. Some nice jackets there.

 
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tmitchell59

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Just found this:

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Identical to the single-breasted youth jacket advertised in the 1956 F/W catalog (and nowhere else, as far as I know):

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The Fraternity Prep jackets are interesting jackets that didn't seem to make it into the larger sizes. They don't show up that often and always quite small.
50s Allstate CR, not advertised in the catalogs AFAIK (from a Japanese website):

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This is a BIG FIND! Never in the catalogs I have seen. I assume a Buco product as the other Allstate jackets.
Not strictly pertinent to the thread, but since the question was asked here, I think this is the best place to answer.

50s Peter's CR (from a japanese website):

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A most interesting jacket by a small company that made outstanding leather jackets. Little seems known about them

It doesn't really add, from the historical point of view, to what's already in the thread, but I really like the pic.

Wool lined leather label Hercules, belonging to Ethan Newton (@ethandesu on IG):

View attachment 444147

This appears to have a leather label which makes it interesting. I don't recall seeing a wool lined MC jacket with this label.
 
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tmitchell59

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Another early edition jackets with a light lining I have not seen. This had the sewn on belt removed. Looks to have a removed/lost late 40s Hercules label under the horsehide label. Has the grommets at the belt loops. Does not have the sewn on half-belt, Does have right hand warmer pocket

This is 2nd or 3rd generation.

The maker of this jacket remains a mystery.

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EAC

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Since there was a bit of discussing about these specific variation of Sears MC jacket, I think it would be interesting to add Dinerman's words on the matter (reported after the pics).

Appalachian made 50s D-pocket (source: https://vintagehaberdashers.com/2015/05/31/1950s-d-pocket-leather-jacket-biker-cut/):

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"This vintage leather jacket was made in the 1950s, and was likely sold by Sears under the Fieldmaster label. This is distinguished as one of the earlier production Sears D-pockets by the small Talon zipper (before they switched to either larger Talons or Serval zips). This has a separate square bottomed patch pocket cigarette pocket, which was replaced by the late 1950s-early 1960s by a internal pocket with just the flap. The D-pocket is also a separate piece of leather, while on later manufactured versions (with either the Oakbrook or Leather Shop labels) the pocket was accomplished with stitching and a welt. This also has a tunneled belt loop through the kidney panel rather than the attached quarter belts of later versions. The earliest Sears branded D-Pockets were produced under contract by Buco in Detroit, Michigan, while later 1950s versions were produced in California. At some point, this jacket was used by a member of a biker gang, as evidenced by stitch marks left by the removal of a club insignia and top and bottom rockers. The Harley Davidson patch, which would have been added by the jacket’s owner, and which would not have been the property of the club, is still on the jacket’s kidney panel. [...]"
 

Marc mndt

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Since there was a bit of discussing about these specific variation of Sears MC jacket, I think it would be interesting to add Dinerman's words on the matter (reported after the pics).

Appalachian made 50s D-pocket (source: https://vintagehaberdashers.com/2015/05/31/1950s-d-pocket-leather-jacket-biker-cut/):

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"This vintage leather jacket was made in the 1950s, and was likely sold by Sears under the Fieldmaster label. This is distinguished as one of the earlier production Sears D-pockets by the small Talon zipper (before they switched to either larger Talons or Serval zips). This has a separate square bottomed patch pocket cigarette pocket, which was replaced by the late 1950s-early 1960s by a internal pocket with just the flap. The D-pocket is also a separate piece of leather, while on later manufactured versions (with either the Oakbrook or Leather Shop labels) the pocket was accomplished with stitching and a welt. This also has a tunneled belt loop through the kidney panel rather than the attached quarter belts of later versions. The earliest Sears branded D-Pockets were produced under contract by Buco in Detroit, Michigan, while later 1950s versions were produced in California. At some point, this jacket was used by a member of a biker gang, as evidenced by stitch marks left by the removal of a club insignia and top and bottom rockers. The Harley Davidson patch, which would have been added by the jacket’s owner, and which would not have been the property of the club, is still on the jacket’s kidney panel. [...]"
This looks a lot like my 'styled in California' Hercules D pocket, which I think was produced by California Sportwear.

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I do know that Appalachian made these with a Hercules label:

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EAC

One of the Regulars
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This looks a lot like my 'styled in California' Hercules D pocket, which I think was produced by California Sportwear.

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I do know that Appalachian made these with a Hercules label:

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It indeed does look similar, but there are a couple of details that differ: in the vest, the cigarette pocket has a more squared shape and the epaulettes have an X-shaped stitching pattern, identical to the Appalachian you just posted.

Earlier in this thread, tmitchell59 came to the the conclusion that a particular style of Sears D-pocket MC jackets with a few details (X-stitched epaulettes, squared cigarette pocket, Oakbrook-style lining with big quilt 'squares', full detachable belt, particularly short back length) were Appalachian made. They featured an Oakbrook label, but looked a lot like the early Hercules in cut and details.
 

JMax

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It indeed does look similar, but there are a couple of details that differ: in the vest, the cigarette pocket has a more squared shape and the epaulettes have an X-shaped stitching pattern, identical to the Appalachian you just posted.

Earlier in this thread, tmitchell59 came to the the conclusion that a particular style of Sears D-pocket MC jackets with a few details (X-stitched epaulettes, squared cigarette pocket, Oakbrook-style lining with big quilt 'squares', full detachable belt, particularly short back length) were Appalachian made. They featured an Oakbrook label, but looked a lot like the early Hercules in cut and details.

Yes, was gonna say the squared-off patch pocket is Oakbrook labeled App. As TM noted. In any case, great jackets.
 

EAC

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Another early edition jackets with a light lining I have not seen. This had the sewn on belt removed. Looks to have a removed/lost late 40s Hercules label under the horsehide label. Has the grommets at the belt loops. Does not have the sewn on half-belt, Does have right hand warmer pocket

This is 2nd or 3rd generation.

The maker of this jacket remains a mystery.

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Clearly the one in your post is a 1949-50 man's jacket, but a black rayon lined horsehide jacket with that back is shown in the 1950 catalog, women section:

1950 LADIES 1ST.jpg


No idea on the maker.
 

tmitchell59

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The earliest Sears branded D-Pockets were produced under contract by Buco in Detroit, Michigan, while later 1950s versions were produced in California.

This is a quote from dinnerman on the early Sears MC jackets. Much has been discovered since he wrote this and is included in this thread.

Buco making the early Sears MC jackets is just not accurate. This is sorta a Myth. Makes some sense, but not correct. Buco did make the Allstate jackets with a higher price tag and in a different section of the Sears catalog. I have seen no evidence that Buco made any other than the Allstate jackets. The Allstate are identical to Buco but with the Allstate label.

The California made jackets are from the early to mid 50s.
 
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EAC

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An additional, interesting bit of information on the squared D-pocket, stitched-on epaulettes, through belt MC jacket (source: https://wa-grant.countybuyselltrade...-hide-motorcycle-jacket-size-42_ephrata_23160):

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The quality of the pictures is unfortunately quite poor (there's more at the link, none better than these), but we can say with reasonable certainty that there were some Hercules among these jackets, which usually show up with an Oakbrook label.

I can also make out some red palm trees on the label: weren't they a telltale sign of made in California jackets?
 

JMax

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Nice find. Must have been a later Herc, as they transitioned labels. Yes, palm tree labels normally would mention made in Cali. I wonder if these were HH, unlike the Oakbrook?
 

Canuck Panda

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on the earlier Hercs are the cotton threads holding up? Or are there visible strengthening with poly cotton threads that came as later service repairs?
 

EAC

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Nice find. Must have been a later Herc, as they transitioned labels. Yes, palm tree labels normally would mention made in Cali. I wonder if these were HH, unlike the Oakbrook?

The seller describes the jacket as a steerhide Hercules; I think that's true, since there seems to be one of those small leather-type labels attached to the main, bigger one. I would not exclude that some of these were horsehide.
 

EAC

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Another jacket not featured in the catalogs I've seen (sold out on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/it/listing/249...how_sold_out_detail=1&ref=nla_listing_details).

50s cowhide Brando-style Hercules:
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This piece is particularly interesting since it's (AFAIK) the oldest leather jacket produced by Sears with the three zippered slash + one flapped pocket layout (they advertised a twill jacket with this configuration in the FW 1951 catalog):

1951 TWILL MC JACKET.jpg


It also features the decorative white stitching seen on some steerhide mid 50s jackets (adults and youth models).

FW 1954:

1954 STEERHIDE.jpg


FW 1955:

1955 WHITE TRIM.jpg


FW 1956:

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(All catalog pics are tmitchell59's, copied for clarity from the first page of this thread).

The back is unusual as well, with a very low stitched-on half belt, long, thin belt loops as seen on through belt Hercules, and an attached half-belt (cut off here) on the front.
 

tmitchell59

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excellent addition, good eye! I did not find this combination pictured with the cig pocket in the catalog either. This style with no pocket shows up with the braided stitching many years and ends in 1960.

The jacket pictured, made in California, looks to be made by California Sportswear Co.

I have assumed all the "made in Cali" jackets were made by CSC, but I'm less positive about that. I am convinced they did made some of them, if no all.

I keep saying i'm going to do a Field Guide for Hercules MC jackets. I have been working on the first years and believe I have found the beginnings. There are probably 3 generations of Wool lined jackets alone! That goes from c.1948 to 1951.

Most of the Sears MC jackets styles are here in this thread, putting them in order would be one goal.

I will work on the first chapter; 48-51. I have the most interest and information for this time. This is basically the Wool lined jackets.
 
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