Mar 30, 2011

Lightning Magazine AMERICAN HERITAGE Special Issue Vol. 101

Back in October I posted on the pleasure and honor of having Shogo & Tad from Lightning Magazine in our home to photograph a few pieces from the collection. The American Heritage issue Vol.101 featuring photos taken that Sunday hit the domestic stands today. I'm real pleased with the results. Many thanks to the folks at Lightning who graciously sent 2 copies. 
In addition to pictures from the magazine, over the next few days I'll also share more detailed photos of some of my favorite vintage workwear from the collection that was featured in the article .
1950s era PENNEY’S salt & pepper whipcord wool lined jacket.
Slant pocket featuring much favored red GRIPPER ZIPPER with deco chain pull. 
Belt back with by-swing pleats.
Close up of belt back, cat eye side button waist adjustors and expansion by-swing pleats.

The issue also featured our Rose Bowl neighbor Randy Jones aka
Tiki Ranch showing off some of his great advertising memorabilia and collectibles. Some photos to follow.

Mar 24, 2011


November 1914 STIFEL INDIGO CLOTH ad from the archive 

Early 1900's STIFEL INDIGO CLOTH Overalls and Cap for Doll or Bear from the archive
Beautiful Fabric
Close up of STIFEL MADE IN U.S.A. trademark "boot stamp"
Mother of pearl buttons

Mar 21, 2011

Vintage STIFEL Fine Stripe Cotton Moleskin Engineer And Workman Cap

  November 1915 Stifel ad via archive 
Stifel cloth fine stripe cotton moleskin engineer & workman cap
Constructed using 1940's era new old stock STIFEL cotton moleskin with black cotton thread. These caps are artisan crafted with meticulous care.
Given their hand-made and hand-finished nature, variations in fabric, stitching and shape are to be expected and celebrated. Each piece is unique and no two are exactly alike

Gunmetal ventilation eyelets and buckle  

December 1914 Stifel ad via archive

The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. printed label
Original STIFEL boot stamp on fabric backside
Hand screened and stamped cap box & bonus

Limited Edition, 1 of 4  
One Size, fits size 7 to 7 1/2
Made in USA
Available via The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co.

For information or to purchase please contact sales at or 

Mar 17, 2011

John Lofgrens's Speedway-Shop SENDAI Update

Big props to Mose at WEAR 'N' TEAR & Matt at Rivet-HEAD for the links & support.
Woke up this morning from another flu-ridden, sleepless night to some very good news regarding John Lofgren & family and his Speedway-Shop in Sendai, Japan. David Himel posted a comment and link to an update run in the Fresno Bee on Sunday titled Sendai survivor:Kingsburg native gets word to family.

I also ran across this nice article from the abc Fresno website titled Valley residents try to contact loved ones in Japan.

Nice Q&A piece posted on Monday via the Fresno Bee titled Sendai survivor:Q&A with Valley native John Lofgren
Once you read the above stories on this man and the goodwill he spreads, you can't help but want to get involved and help.

This evening I received a response from John to an email message I sent to his eBay shop just yesterday expressing my best wishes, and when the time was right that I wanted to pick up a few items. Here it is.

We're cleaning up after the earthquake right now. We're in Sendai, the city that got hit hardest. My store, office and home all sustained a lot of damage. Our office should be up and running normally a few days only. We know everyone is worried and we appreciate it very much. For now we need to get the mess cleaned up so we can get back to work and our lives back on track. If you can afford it, donating a few dollars o the Red Cross wouldn't hurt.
The post office in Japan is fully operational too, so shipping is not a problem. Even though our shop was wrecked, over 90% of our stock made it just fine. Main damage was to fixtures & displays, not actual merchandise, so if you'd like to do a little shopping with us, we are fully capable of taking orders (and we could really use the support).
Read an interview I did with a California newspaper here:

Thanks a lot, and a special thank you to all of those who emailed as soon as they found out about the quake and emailed to see if we were ok.

John Lofgren
980-0811 Sendai
Aoba-ku, Ichibancho 1-11-20
Oumi Bld. 4F

I am including John's contact information for those who want to get involved in the cause or just purchase some great goods. <>
Speedway on Rakuten <>
Speedway on eBay  <

The email update above was followed by an order confirmation and invoice for these caps I had inquired about only the day before. I can never pass up a good engineer cap, especially in much coveted pincheck material.
The cap invoice was followed by a personal note of thanks from this man and his damaged business halfway across the world, whom I have never met but consider to be a peer and friend,  who obviously has so much going on at this trying time yet took the time to connect. Thanks John for doing all you do & best wishes from So Cal. Truly a rare breed, let's show him some support!

Mar 12, 2011

Thoughts and best wishes to our friends and people of Japan

Lets start by saying that our thoughts are with our many Japanese friends. It's very hard to prepare for tomorrow's Rose Bowl without losing focus due to the many scenes of loss and destruction in Japan.

Sendai, home to John Lofgren's Speedway-Shop was especially close to the epicenter. We wish everyone well and encourage all to do what they can to help in this rescue & recovery effort.

Via Lili Lagada, Yahoo News

Japan was hit by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded on Friday. The magnitude-8.9 quake spawned a deadly tsunami that slammed into the nation's east coast, leaving a huge swath of devastation in its wake. Hundreds of people are dead and many more are still missing or injured.
Japan has often donated when other countries have experienced disasters, such as when Hurricane Katrina impacted the United States. Here are  a few organizations that are working on relief and recovery in the region.
AMERICAN RED CROSS: Emergency Operation Centers are opened in the affected areas and staffed by the chapters. This disaster is on a scale larger than the Japanese Red Cross can typically manage. Donations to the American Red Cross can be allocated for the International Disaster Relief Fund, which then deploys to the region to help. Donate here.
GLOBALGIVING: Established a fund to disburse donations to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donate here.
SAVE THE CHILDREN: Mobilizing to provide immediate humanitarian relief in the shape of emergency health care and provision of non-food items and shelter. Donate here.
SALVATION ARMY: The Salvation Army has been in Japan since 1895 and is currently providing emergency assistance to those in need. Donate here.
AMERICARES: Emergency team is on full alert, mobilizing resources and dispatching an emergency response manager to the region. Donate here.
CONVOY OF HOPE: Disaster Response team established connection with in-country partners who have been impacted by the damage and are identifying the needs and areas where Convoy of Hope may be of the greatest assistance. Donate here.

: Putting together relief teams, as well as supplies, and are in contact with partners in Japan and other affected countries to assess needs and coordinate our activities. Donate here.
SHELTER BOX: The first team is mobilizing to head to Japan and begin the response effort. Donate here.

Mar 10, 2011

Mar 3, 2011


Here is a sneak peek at our new BEAR BRAND ENGINEER and WORKMAN CAPS. 
Made in the USA, ultra limited edition, available via The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. 
Contact us at vintageworkwear@gmail for more info.
Indigo Dyed Selvedge Denim
Natural Cotton Thread
Indigo Dyed Selvedge Denim
 Indigo Cotton Thread
Vintage Salt & Pepper Pepperell Battle Axe Whipcord
Natural Cotton Thread
"End of Day" sample cap constructed using three different vintage salt & pepper fabric variations.
Vintage Sanforized Convert Cloth, Pepperell Battle Axe Whipcord & Stifel Fine Stripe Moleskin
Black Cotton Thread
"End of Day" sample cap constructed using three different vintage salt & pepper fabric variations.
Sanforized Convert Cloth, Pepperell Battle Axe Whipcord & Stifel Fine Stripe Moleskin
Black Cotton Thread
 Vintage Indigo Stripe Ticking Fabric
Indigo Cotton Thread
And last but not least.......
 Vintage Stifel Fine Stripe Cotton Moleskin
Black Cotton Thread