Jun 25, 2012


Dean, Herald and Curt aka the "Washington Dee-Cee Vagabonds" seen sporting their alternative to the "Texas Tuxedo", likely circa 1930-1940. The microphone on the right belonged to WSM, the AM radio station best known as the home of The Grand Ole Opry, the world's longest running radio program.  
Just about the best denim "suits" since Bing Crosby donned his LEVIS Tuxedo back in 1951.
The "Washington Dee-Cee Vagabonds" killing it in their rigid indigo denim chore coats and overalls

Jun 22, 2012


While we do not normally feature items currently up for auction, for this beautiful vintage chambray work shirt an exception is in order. The nice seller of this garment contacted us with questions about this rare find and we were happy to shed some light on this century old shirt and help promote this current auction.
This PRESIDENT GUARANTEED WORK SHIRT was manufactured by The President Shirt Co. in Baltimore, Md sometime around 1911 and while one hundred plus years of age has indeed taken its toll, aside from a few holes, storage soil and stains this shirt looks to be in barely worn if not unworn condition.
Primitively constructed of coarse weave blue chambray fabric with some very crude single and double stitching in contrasting natural thread, this vintage work shirt includes many nice details. These details include pull-over type body with two button front placket, two button chin strap collar tab, single front pocket with pen/tool slot, lower side hem rip stop gussets, back shoulder yoke with arcuate type stitching detail and a great printed neck label seen in the photo above.
Early 1900s President Guaranteed Work Shirt
Beautifully primitive chin strap collar tab with crude stitching
Double layer back shoulder yoke arcuate with more crude stitching. Loom chatter in the fabric can be seen in the upper right corner
Lower hem rip stop gussets
1911 President Guaranteed Work Shirt print ad

Jun 15, 2012

Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, Vintage Workwear, Rugged Accessories and the Red Wing Iron Ranger Work Boot

Moonrise Kingdom is the wonderful new film by director Wes Anderson. This film takes viewers along for the ride on the journey of Khaki Scout Sam Shakusky and school girl with edge Suzy Bishop, two twelve year old kids in the midst of growing up and experiencing their first summer of love while on an adventurous run. Pursued by an all star cast of adults including Edward Norton as Khaki Scout Troupe Leader Ward, Bruce Willis as the lonely Town Sheriff Captain Sharp and Suzy's together yet detached parents played by Bill Murray and Francis McDormand. Harvey Kitel as Khaki Scout Commander Pierce, Tilda Swinton as Social Services (love that name or lack there of) and Anderson film repeat offender Jason Schwartzman as Cousin Ben also add their special talents. Moonrise Kingdom is set in the year 1965 on the island of New Penzance located off the coast of New England with the mother of all storms approaching. Sam and Suzy's journey and pursuit is filled with the humor and wit that we've come to love and expect from a Wes Anderson film along with set design and details that fans of vintage workwear and rugged accessories will no doubt appreciate. The use of Hank Williams Jr. tunes throughout the film is another nice choice.

Items of interest include narrator Bob Balaban's low top "Gumshoe" version of the iconic L. L. Bean Maine Boot, Khaki Scout uniforms similar to the vintage version made for the Boy Scouts of America by vintage workwear manufacturer Sweet Orr, the Safety type glasses worn by many of the cast members, Sam's Blue Bell Herringbone Twill Coveralls, Metal Water Coolers and Ice Chests, the Industrial Metal Desk and Chairs like those manufactured by The General Fireproofing Company and the Red Wing style Moc Toe Boots worn by Cousin Ben.
Sweet Orr Boy Scouts of America Shirt Box courtesy of Suntrap
Red Wing IRON RANGER boots after 1 year on the job

Last year we were contacted by the film's producers inquiring into of the possibility of using a pair of well used Red Wing Iron Ranger boots belonging to yours truly. Seems Wes had run across said Iron Rangers previously pictured on this very blog and we were more than honored to offer them for use on the new project from one of our favorite directors. A virtual handshake type deal was struck and since this was to be a small budget film a screen credit / thank you along with a production shot of the boots in action was accepted in lieu of rental payment. Knowing the attention to detail that Wes always brings to his films along with the knowledge of the directors ability to achieve his vision in any number of alternative ways made his choice of this particular pair of boots all the more special.

Red Wing IRON RANGER boots after 2 years on the job
Mr Billingsley photo courtesy of Moonrise Kingdom & Focus Features
We were excited to hear that Moonrise Kingdom had been chosen to open the prestigious 2012 Cannes International Film Festival followed by openings in New York and Los Angeles in May. Eager with anticipation to see the new film from one of our long time favorite artists and directors along with the cameo appearance of the Red Wing IRON RANGER boots belonging to yours truly, we recently made the short trip to Hollywood, CA to catch Moonrise Kingdom at the ArcLight Theatre.
The film was a joy to watch from start to finish with the appearance of Sam's foster dad Mr. Billingsley (aptly played by seasoned actor Larry Pine) wearing the Red Wing Iron Rangers while conversing at the table in a perfectly period correct kitchen right around the film's ten minute mark. The thank you to yours truly and The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. as the end credits rolled was an especially nice treat.

Even with the bias that comes with having contributed on the minutest level to this highly enjoyable piece of work, we can not recommend Moonrise Kingdom highly enough for your summertime viewing pleasure. Go see this film and enjoy an opportunity to smile and laugh while taking a trip back to those youthful days of long summers and first loves.

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