This vintage vest was made in the late 1920s. It was sold by Sears under the Fieldmaster Gun Coats label. This label design is the early version used by Sears during this period. In the 1930s, these were mostly sold under the Double Duty label, and had slightly different detailing. The vest (or sleeveless coat as period ads always refer to these as) has an interior game pocket with a belt adjuster. The half moon pocket gives front access to this pocket. The shoulders are reinforced and the vest has two large wraparound bellows pockets.
Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
Length (collar to hem): 24″
This vintage sweater vest was knit by a member of the American Red Cross during WWII for an american serviceman. It has a V neck with a distinctive square back and trim ribbing.
Chest (pit to pit, unstretched): 17″ (doubled = 34″)
Chest (pit to pit, stretched): 24″ (doubled = 48″)
This vintage leather vest was made by the California Sportswear Company of Los Angeles under their Californian label in the mid to late 1930s. It has an early Talon Hookless style grommet zipper and a chain and ring style Talon zip on the breast pocket, with the early style slider with the Talon script. These date it from around 1935-1938. It bears the famous Californian rising sun label, and has side adjuster belts, like those found on Californian’s half-belt leather jackets of the same period.
Chest (pit to pit): 20″ (doubled = 40″)
This vintage vest was made in Woolrich, Pennsylvania by the Woolrich Woolen Mills. Woolrich changed their label design frequently, which makes them easy to date if you know what you’re looking for. This variant on the label was used from about 1940-1945. The design of the United Carr snaps are also a giveaway for this vest’s date of manufacture. In the 1930s, Woolrich used snaps with one of two variations on a greek key pattern. During WWII, they switched to a plain topped design, featured on this vest. Starting in the late 1940s, Woolrich switched to snaps bearing the Woolrich name, before switching back to a different variation on the plain topped snaps in the 1960s. The design of the back of the snap further confirms this dating.
The vest is made of Woolrich’s signature mackinaw wool. The vest has a snap front, and bound seams. Although some examples you see are the sleeved variation with the sleeves removed, the construction on those is different. The vest has a belt adjuster back and asymmetric top and bottom patch pockets. Comparisons to Brown’s Beach Jacket vests of the same period are inevitable. This vest has a single large interior pocket.
Woolrich still makes a version of this model, however, the snaps have given way to a zipper, the cut has been lengthened, the armholes lowered, the shape of the front and rear changed, the wool fabric is now a blend, the pockets are a different shape, the construction is different and the taped seams altered. There is really no comparison the the original.
This vest was made in the 1930s by Red Head Brand, a high end maker of hunting and outdoorsman’s garments. This style has come to be known as a half-moon hunting vest, after the shape of its pass through pockets into the game pouch. Period advertisements generally referred to this style as a sleeveless jacket rather than as a vest. This one has pleated, flapped patch pockets on the front, as well as two patch pockets on the lining. There is a roomy breast pocket, just the right size for a pack of cigarettes, The half-moons pass through to the roomy internal game pocket, which closes with a button.
The vest still has the original Red Head tag, shaped, appropriately, like a duck. The tag reads – “Red Head Fits The Sport. The Red Head duck signifies that this article is backed by years of experience in the equipping of sportsmen. It is your guarantee that nothing has been spared to assure you of satisfaction in the field – that the Red Head standard of quality, workmanship, and above all, the integrity of the Red Head Brand, known by sportsmen for over forty years, is the inimitable ingredient of the product. Play safe and look for this symbol when purchasing outdoor equipment – Red Head Brand Co. – Chicago”
Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)