This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1910s-1920s by the Williamsport Leather Goods Company of Williamsport, PA. It has loops for thirty two shotgun shells and a six button front. The back has an adjustment belt and buckle. The original owner sewed a canvas bag to the back of the vest as a game pouch. The bag has a leather belt closure, and two pockets, one with a mesh bottom, the other solid. The style of label helps date the vest to the late 1910s- mid 1920s. The maker of this vest ceased production in 1927, so it can not date any newer than 87 years old.
The Williamsport Leather Goods Company had a factory at 941 Nichols Place and a store or office at 506 5th Avenue, Williamsport, PA. It was run by Charles C. and Howard E Krouse.The factory burned on April 29, 1927, with a loss in excess of $325,000. They did not rebuild.
Chest (pit to pit): 20″ (doubled = 40″)
This vintage fly fishing vest was made in the 1930s or 1940s. It is similar in cut and style to two made by Remington under the DriDux label which I recently sold, but no longer has a tag, so I can’t say for certain. It has a three button front, with two large wraparound cargo pockets. There is a flapped breast pocket. The other side has a felt pad to store flies in. Most have a simple piece of sheepskin, but this one snaps closed for greater storage and protection. The vest has a fly rod loop on one side, and a metal ring to attach gear to on the other.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/281204172608 This vintage fishing vest was made in the 1930s or 1940s by Remington under the Rem DriDux label. The fabric was advertised as “snag-pruf” and as being guaranteed water repellent. There are pleated breast pockets, and wraparound double hip pockets. One has a divider with separate flaps, one has a single flap. There is a fly rod loop, a waist drawstring, pockets on each sleeve, and a roomy rear game pocket. Hanging from the fly rod loop is a pair of nail clippers, probably to cut fishing line with. There are two interior pockets. This type of vest was generally advertised as a sleeveless jacket or a sleeveless coat. I recently sold another by the same maker, sold under the “WeatherBak” label, which had sleeves.
Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″) Length: 23″
This vintage hunting vest was probably made in the 1930s or 1940s. Dating these vintage hunting vests can sometimes be a bit difficult without labels, as the designs followed what was practical rather than what was fashionable. I have seen other examples of this vest design, but all were like this, without label. It’s an unusual design, deviating from the standard “vest with loops on the front and maybe a belt on the back”. There are two pleated breast pockets, one with a snap closure, the other with a grommet. Instead of the usual button front, this one has snaps, but it goes one further by concealing them. Snaps are “United Carr”. There are closed bottomed canvas pockets for eighteen shotgun shells. The back of the vest has a large bellows game bag, with a waterproof lining.
As someone who has been collecting and researching vintage hunting vests, this one strikes me as particularly interesting. It’s not as old as most of the ones I’m selling, probably dating from the 1960s, but it’s made in an earlier style. Although hunting vests were a purely functional garment and didn’t really change with fashion, certain details did change over time, largely with innovations in materials and hardware. By the time this vest was made, the closed bottomed canvas loops has largely been supplanted by elastic knit loops, which were easier and less expensive to construct, and lay flat when not in use. This vest has the older style loops, heavily reinforced at the bottoms. This vest is reinforced throughout with green textured naugahyde, making for extremely strong seams. Another unusual thing about this vest is its color. Most hunting vests of this type are in shades of brown canvas. This one is in a minty gray green with forest green trim. The vest has DOT snaps throughout, and a removable, vinyl lined game bag.
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1940s, and sold by Sears under their JC Higgins label. Due to similarities in their design, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Hettrick Mfg. Co. of Ohio made this under license for them. It has elastic loops for 24 shotgun shells, and a breast pocket. The four-hole buttons are textured.
Chest (pit to pit): 22″
http://www.ebay.com/itm/281191393899 This hunting vest was sold by Montgomery Ward under their house brand “Western Field”. It is made of canvas, and has a rear external game bag, a plaid lining, and a serval zipper. There are two large bellows pockets on the front, and elasticized pockets for sixteen shotgun shells.
Chest (pit to pit): 24-1/2″ (doubled = 49″) Length: 24″
This vintage vest was made in the 1930s by Red Head Brand under their Blue Bill label. In the 1940s, Blue Bill changed their logo, and began including the (R) symbol. It has closed bottomed canvas shotgun shell pockets, 38 on the front and 18 on the back, for a total of 56. The shotgun shells on the back take the place of the more traditional belted back. The vest has a five button front.
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1930s. It no longer bears a label, but it is typical of the products of some of the smaller companies making vests at that time. It has a high button stance, broadly cut shoulders, 32 shotgun shell pockets, a plain back and lightweight canvas, worn soft over the years.
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1930s by Red Head Brand. It has 34 closed bottom canvas shell pockets on the front, and 16 on the back, for a total of 50. The vest has a five button front. It has an early style Red Head label, the small square version with “Reg. US Pat. Off”, and “Fits the Sport” above and below the main logo. The jacket was obviously worn hard, and as is often the case with items like this, which are purely functional, was probably passed down and worn for multiple generations. It is unusual to see one of these hunting vests in this green colored canvas, usually you find them in brown.
Chest (pit to pit): 18″ (doubled = 36″)