Oct 7, 2013


Sunday night marked three weeks running that various Brown's Beach Jacket garments have been spotted as part of what surely can be said to be some of the if not the best wardrobe currently seen on television.
Four different Brown's Beach Jacket garments can be seen in this scene from the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. From left to right- early BB jacket in black with pointed collar, later blue BB jacket with rounded collar, what looks to be an early BB vest and finally an early BB collar-less jacket in black.
Three weeks ago we were provided a glimpse of Richard Harrow sporting a Brown's Beach vest under his coat and scarf. Last week we were treated to scenes of Richard wearing the same vest, seen below both with and without the wool coat. 

Not to get all critical especially since the wardrobe and set dressing is always so good but with Richards vest being in what looked to be in near perfect condition some key details can be easily seen. This particular Brown's Beach vest is a later version as identified by its weave of dark blue, grey, black and white wool herringbone wool and the later Scovil or DOT conventional type snaps measuring 1/2" in diameter. A period correct vest would have been constructed of black, grey and white herringbone weave. The earlier garments sometimes included various shades of brown due to age and exposure to the elements. Another tell tale sign of earlier garments are the much less common larger 3/4" nipple type snaps that were used.

All said, a very good night of television indeed.

 1930s Brown's Beach collar-less jacket or cardigan from the vintageworkwear.com collection
Side by side comparison of 1930's era Brown's Beach Jacket black, grey and white wool herringbone weave (seen on left) and 1950's era Brown's Beach Jacket  blue, grey and white herringbone weave. vintageworkwear.com collection
Side by side comparison of 1930's era Brown's Beach Jacket 3/4" nipple type snap fastener seen on the left and 1950's era Brown's Beach Jacket 1/2" Scovil brand snap fastener seen on the right. vintageworkwear.com collection
Male portion of early nipple type snap on the left and later conventional type snap on the right.               vintageworkwear.com collection 

Backside view of female portion of early nipple type snap on the left and later conventional type snap on the right. vintageworkwear.com collection
Some very nice reproduction Brown's Beach Jacket garments can be found at one of our favorite  shops, Speedway Haberdashery of Sendai Japan. Check out their online store or see their facebook page here. To view item available from their store in English check them out on Rakuten here.
Above images of Richard Harrow and Al Capone's "guys" courtesy of HBO / Boardwalk Empire.

Jun 21, 2013


Workingman's break time treat long before this summers must have

Apr 3, 2013

Vintage CANTRIPUM Two Pocket Selvedge Denim Jacket and Antique Flange Sign

CANTRIPUM brand union made two pocket denim jacket manufactured by Hooker, Corser & Mitchell Co. of Brattleboro, VT.
This recent auction sale is constructed of narrow loom denim of which the selvedge edge can be seen on the back side of both right and left side button & button hole plackets. The closely spaced white stitching with a large count per inch contrasts nicely with the dark indigo denim. Additional details including wreath & star donut type buttons, Cantripum script loomed neck label and United Garment Workers of America union label likely date this jacket to the 1930's. A similar jacket seen here was featured in the Vintage Clothing Auction of Rin Tanaka's 4th Annual Kulture Recycling Show, Inspiration in February 2012. 

The Cantripum Brand Overalls Coats and Khaki Goods flange sign seen at the top of this post was pulled from the web some time ago and helped in identifying the script label of this jacket.

Apr 1, 2013

THE N.& W. MANUFACTURING CO. Manufacturers of Union Made Overalls, Coats, Dungarees, Etc.

Early 20th Century N & W invoice for goods and NOS Dungarees as seen in LIGHTNING MAGAZINE February 2013. From the vintageworkwear.com collection.
Photo credit: Tadashi Tawarayama

Mar 4, 2013

Markwardt's POLKA DOT "Your Daily Bread" Vintage Work Apron

Vintage work apron for the MARKWARDT'S POLKA DOT BREAD. A bit of research reveals Markwardt's did business in the state of Missouri from the 1930's through the 1950's possibly a longer period of time.
This work or bakers apron is constructed of light colored convert or salt & pepper twill. The apron measures 34" in length and utilizes both sides of the the selvedge edge of the 36" width of fabric. One side of the selvedge edge is seen on the lower hem, the other side is located on the backside of the top of the apron. The upper portion of fabric is folded over and stitched horizontally along the selvedge edge which allows the neck tie enclosed inside the tunnel of folded over fabric to move from side to side or be removed if needed.
The apron features single stitch construction and bar-tack reinforcement and includes attached side ties made of salt & pepper twill. The heavy duty upper neck tie is constructed of grey cotton twill with the ends finished in a triangular fold with triangular stitching. A single patch type pocket also utilizes the finished selvedge edge for the pocket opening.

Mar 2, 2013

Vintage BIG YANK Chambray Work Shirt with Sweat Proof Pocket

1950s era BIG YANK Union Made Sanforized Chambray Work Shirt featuring unique pocket sometimes referred to as a cigarette pocket. The BIG YANK sweat proof pocket design is a classic example of form follows function, having been used on various RELIANCE BIG YANK work shirts since the early 20th century. This rare example is deadstock or new old stock having never been tried on or worn let alone unpinned or opened.

Below the same model shirt with character and fade from years of wear and tear is seen for comparison
1950s era collar was significantly less pointed than its predecessor from the 1940's. This shirt also features signature BIG YANK diamond embossed buttons. Their thicker shape and raised detail were much easier for working men to button and unbutton.
Left side squared off sweat proof pocket with flap closure shares the same basic size and shape as the conventional right side pocket, setting this version apart from previous incarnations with their "big pocket and triangular topped little pocket" design.
Lower hem reinforcement gusset with exposed selvedge edge, again form following function
BIG YANK signature arched upper yoke with two layers of fabric.  The dual layers add  additional protection while carrying loads on the shoulder in addition to added life to the garment, another example of form following function.
 About the only pet peeve is that The BIG YANK UNION MADE SANFORIZED neck label found on shirts from this era were attached with glue and have a tendency to become detached after many washings.  Color variation between the deadstock and used versions of the same shirt can be seen in the photo above.

Feb 13, 2013

Vintage 1950s SWEET-ORR Yarn-Dyed Flannel Work Shirt

SWEET-ORR Union Made flannel work shirt constructed of heavy weight yarn-dyed SANFORIZED cotton with pointed collar, black convex two hole buttons and lower hem side reinforcement gussets.

Perfectly pointed collar.
Patch type chest pockets, each with a slightly different shape and plaid pattern. Interesting detail in that the front placket buttons only run about half the length of the shirt, likely due to the high-wasted style of pants worn during the same 1950s time period . The wider lower hem portion of the shirt back likely helped in keeping the shirt tucked in during physical work.
Lower hem side gussets.

Feb 12, 2013

Antique FINCK'S "DETROIT-SPECIAL" OVERALLS "Wear Like A Pigs Nose" Advertising Whistle... For Mike

Today we share this FINCK'S UNION MADE "DETROIT-SPECIAL" OVERALLS advertising whistle in fond memory of Mike Hersh. His wonderful blog UNION-MADE set the bar high for vintage workwear advertising, promotional and print material. While we were proud of the fact that many of the pieces Mike so graciously shared were also in our collection, his knowledge, insight and obvious passion for the art and history set him (and UNION-MADE) apart and reminded us on so many occasions as to just why we love this stuff. Mike's frequent positive comments on this blog were always appreciated and provided food for the soul and fuel for the fire in the quest to find time and motivation in the busy schedule to post and share. I never got the chance to meet Mike up close and in person but truly considered him to be a friend, brother-in-arms and much valued member of our little blogging community. News this past weekend of Mike's passing hits hard and reminds us of just how precious life is and to appreciate the time and interaction we have with those whose light burns bright... we never know when that light will dim and no longer be with us. 
R.I.P Mike and Godspeed.

Antique FINCK'S "LOUD AD" advertising whistle manufactured by F.G. Fawkes & Co. Chicago U.S.A.  Patent in U.S. and Canada 1909 & 1910.
"A tune can be played, a Parrot or Rooster imitated, etc". After one hundred years give or take it still works!

Feb 7, 2013

Vintage Buddy Lee Union Made Child's Playsuit

Awesome vintage Lee "Buddy Lee" two-tone denim child's playsuit with shawl collar and fold down front pockets recently found and shared by one of our friends.  Hefty bar-tack reinforcements in red thread located at the bottom of the pocket and side opening, best seen in the fourth photo. This piece likely dates to the 1920s-1930s