Aug 11, 2011

"Experts", Hucksters, Snake Oil Salesmen and the Misinformed… 1950s Era BIG SMITH Engineer Cap, Not 1940s Lee

1950s era BIG SMITH cap misrepresented as 1940s Lee via Galetime Vintage
1950s era deadstock BIG SMITH Hickory Stripe Engineer Cap from the vintage workwear.com archive

Seems that more and more so called experts are coming outta the woodwork these days, claiming to know way more than they actually do and having no problem sharing this misinformation along with falsehoods and outright lies with the unsuspecting consumer.

Case in point is this vintage work cap that a customer recently asked us to help confirm make and era produced.
Cap was sold as a 1940’s Lee while in actuality it is a 1950s BIG SMITH brand.

The way we confirm this fact is side by side comparison to a dead stock 1950s BIG SMITH cap from the vintage workwear archive along with the informative guide to vintage workwear labels that can be found on the Japanese website Red Cloud Co.Ltd.

One of the reasons I started this blog was to both share a passion and educate on the details and merits of vintage workwear. I’m always open for honest exchange of information and encourage everyone with an interest in these wonderful items to do their homework and share the knowledge with like minded enthusiasts.

Here is an example of one such unscrupulous seller and some direct quotes featuring their so called “knowledge and expertise”.  
Customer - This cap is not a 40s Lee but rather a 50s Big Smith. I would be happy to send you a photo of the label from a 50's Big Smith cap from a knowledgeable collector for your reference.
I'm a bit surprised at this mistake since you mention you looked at Red Cloud’s Japanese site in addition to your mention of your upcoming book on dating vintage menswear. Please make note for future reference.    
Galetime Vintage - I know for certain that this is a Lee cap because the label was legible to me and others before it accidentally got put in the laundry with bleach. I didn't even consider Big Smith because I already knew what it was and only referenced Red Cloud so that a buyer could check for themselves. So, no, not a mistake, just a difference between fact and opinion.
Just a difference between fact and opinion, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
Galetime Vintage - I just wanted you to know that (as per your suggestion) I did double check the label on Red Cloud; Lee shows a single red box around the logo and Big Smith shows a double red box around the logo. The cap I sold has a single red box. Just the slightest of difference, but major in recognizing and dating.
In response to the sellers claim that “Lee shows a single red box around the logo and Big Smith shows a double red box around the logo. The cap I sold has a single red box. Just the slightest of difference, but major in recognizing and dating”, put on your glasses and you will see the dual red box surrounding the logo. 
Label from misrepresented cap clearly shows same design details as 1950s BIG SMITH cap. Dual red border can be seen in both upper and lower right corners
1950s BIG SMITH cap machine loomed label
I love the fact that this seller is so arrogant that they can’t even admit their mistake, or is it because they intentionally misrepresented the item with hopes of a much bigger payday? I find it funny that most of the gold lettered BIG SMITH bow-tie was lost due to “bleach” while bits of the gold loomed BIG SMITH bow-tie remain along with the red loomed UNION MADE and SANFORIZED text. I’m no CSI expert but it looks to me more like an intentional doctoring job done with a black Sharpie.
The icing on the cake is their insistence that “the label was legible to me and others before it accidentally got put in the laundry with bleach”.
Besides the fact that under close inspection the label clearly says BIG SMITH in its traditional bow-tie design and is longer in length that the three letter spelling of Lee, needless to say, any experienced vintage dealer or so-called expert would never put vintage denim into the wash with bleach, even by accident.
Let’s not even get into their upcoming book “Coming in December - my new book "A Dandy Guide to Dating Vintage Menswear - WWI into the 60s". I’m not sure if I should laugh or scream.
I’m so tired of these hucksters and scam artists claiming to be experts and passing misinformation and outright lies to the buying public. Another classic case of Caveat Emptor or “Let the buyer beware”
Bottom line is if you want a book about dating vintage written by someone who is about as far away from the term expert as the color black is to white, GALETIME VINTAGE has got you covered.

2 comments:

  1. Jesus, what an idiot! Sad to think that now everyone who buys his book will be just as misinformed.

    ReplyDelete
  2. It never stops as a general rule if anything is off I will not consider it.I had a quick question
    I found a pair of Montgomery Wards pioneer overalls with red selvege. What year did Wards use selvege denim.

    ReplyDelete