Jul 30, 2011


Vintage deadstock 1960's era Lee SANFORIZED white herringbone twill cotton work cap, Lot 180-5910. Union Made in the U.S.A.  Rarely seen "balloon top" style, from the vintage workwear collection.

Lee Union Made lot & size tag and United Hatters Caps & Millinery Workers Union label

Vintage deadstock 1950's era Lee SANFORIZED natural canvas drill painters overalls, Lot B54SB. Union Made in the U.S.A. Sold via The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co.
Lee "long L" buttons
Lee UNION MADE SANFORIZED size & lot tag
United Garment Workers of America DUCK GOODS Union Label

Jul 29, 2011


1940's-1950's era shop apron in brown duck canvas with selvedge details. These type of aprons were also known as Split Leg Aprons or Semi-O'Alls. This particular model can also be referred to as a "Shorty" apron due to its shorter leg sections.

Selvedge details can be seen on side of apron, side of pocket and bottom of waist double panel
Shoulder straps with overall type shank buttons and hardware
Close up shows leg strap buckle & selvedge details
Similar apron seen in 1950's era Industrial Uniform Company catalog

Jul 26, 2011


One of the new SFV MERCANTILE •M•P• Canvas & Leather Tool Bags available now via The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. Store. Taking inspiration from vintage BELL SYSTEM lineman's tool bags, this version retains virtually all of the features that contributed to the original bag's appeal and longevity, along with an upgrade or two for increased usability.  The vintage BELL SYSTEM bags seen in this earlier post show just how little the basic design has changed over the years.

• Green Cotton Duck Canvas
• Vegetable tanned top grain saddle leather handles and straps that will darken with use
Vegetable tanned top grain saddle leather removable adjustable shoulder strap
• Highest quality leather bottom 
• Antiqued nickel hardware including all buckles, clips, studs & rivets
• Large interior pocket with San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. printed label

• Hand stamped •M•P•  MFG BY SFV MERCANTILE logo
• Metal studs on bottom to protect from scrapes and abrasions
• Water resistant fiber board bottom helps bag retain shape
• Heavy Duty riveted steel frame opens wide and closes tight
• Measures 20" x 6" x 14" with 10" frame opening
• Proudly Made in USA

I have been using vintage versions of these bags for years, mostly for work and hauling tools. Vintage condition often dictates present day use including just what you can safely carry without fear of picking up funky smells or soil. Remember the vintage bags were used to haul tools & climbing gear in their first life and carried or stored a whole other array of who knows what in their secondary life.
Vintage BELL SYSTEM Canvas & Leather Lineman's Tool Bag, 1950's edition
SFV MERCANTILE •M•P• Canvas & Leather Tool Bag, 2011 edition
We proudly offer this new bag feeling it represents the classic "best of both worlds" scenario... authentic vintage styling & details along with modern day usability.

Jul 25, 2011

RED & WHITE STORES Vintage Two-Tone Store Clerk Coat

Vintage Red & White Stores Work Jacket a.k.a. Store Clerks Coat, likely dating to the 1940's-1950's
Details include two-tone linen type material and chain stitched logo
Interesting patch detail covering both rt & left lower side opening. Similar openings can be  found on long shop coats and coveralls to access pockets of pants worn underneath
Cat Eye shell buttons
Red & White is a chain of independently owned and operated food stores operating in the United States. While it has been supplanted by supermarket chains in many of its locations, its signature red dot logo with the words Red & White can still be found on small independent grocers in many states. via wikipedia 

Red & White store owned by FLICKER member Seattle rainscreen's Grandfather in Meadville, Pa.  A guess from family is that this photo dates from the mid to late 1940's.

Jul 23, 2011


This vintage Montgomery Ward salt & pepper workshirt is another classic case of ebay now you see it, now you don't.  Deadstock with lot & size tag and Pepperell Fabrics Sanforized Shrunk, Vat Dyed placket flasher in rarely seen brown convert cloth, this beauty didn't last long before the much dreaded "This listing was ended by the seller because the item is no longer available" appeared. Details including narrow pointed collar and machine loomed neck label point to this shirt likely dating from the 1940's, possibly 1930's. Any and all information that helps better confirm age is always appreciated.

Jul 21, 2011

Vintage 1940's-1950's BELL SYSTEM Canvas & Leather Tool Bag Part II... Selvedge Details

Vintage Bell System Canvas & Leather Repairman's Tool Bag #4. 
These bags are often found in garages, hanging in barns and in outdoor storage sheds where they have been sitting for decades, exposed to the elements including moisture, extreme hot & cold temperature changes, dirt & petroleum products. Needless to say, these elements are not leather's best friends. If not for the water damaged leather bottom, this would be one of the nicer examples from the archive

Selvedge detail can be seen on the upper edge above the frame rivets, running the length of the bag. This version features heavy duty aluminum roller buckles
Selvedge detail seen on inside pocket
Close up of selvedge detail running across top of large rivet reinforced inside pocket
Check out the tool bag on the floor at the installers feet. 
Great design stands the test of time
 Nice Old School Bell Telephone Work Truck
Vintage Bell Telephone images via porticus.org

Vintage 1940's-1950's BELL SYSTEM Canvas & Leather Tool Bags

1940's BELL SYSTEM lineman's tool bag #1 in faded canvas duck w/ stencil
 Bag #1 features roller buckles for closure straps
Bag #2 also with stencil but having more original green color remaining
Black hardware including rivets and faux roller buckles for straps provide a nice detail on this 2nd 1940's version
BELL SYSTEM canvas & leather bag #3, manufactured by Klein-Buhrke. This model replaced the stenciled logo with the same screened logo later used on the Naugahyde & leather bags. I believe this bag to date from the early 1950's
Taking into account that these bags are anywhere from 50 to 70 years old and were used for work, examples as clean and nice as this 3rd version are few and far between. While this bag does have some nice sun fade, the canvas retains much of its original green color. Except for some minor damage to the leather bottom, all leather is in excellent shape with wonderful aged patina and the inside of this bag looks to have seen little to no use