1910s-1920s shawl collar mackinaw

This vintage mackinaw coat was made in the 1910s-1920s. It is made from a blue, green, red and gray plaid mackinaw wool, in a double breasted cut, with a broad shawl collar, handwarmer pockets, flapped cargo pockets and belt loops. As was typical for these early production mackinaws, this one is unlined. The particular detailing found on this example, in combination with the unusual plaid are hallmarks of an earlier mackinaw. More vibrant color schemes were generally more popular earlier on, losing ground by the later 1920s to more sedate patterns, while the shawl collar, save for the horsehide trimmed railroad versions, generally fell out of favor by the early 1930s on double breasted mackinaws.

Chest (pit to pit): 25″
Shoulder to shoulder: 19-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26-3/4″
Length (base of collar to hem): 35″

Mackinaw fabric, as well as mackinaw coats, trace their name back to blankets used in the fur trade by the Mackinaw Fur Company, headquartered at Fort Mackinac. As with the point blankets made by the Hudson’s Bay Company, Mackinaw blankets were made in an array of bright colors and garish patterns. Originally favored by native Americans and fur traders in the area, the coats gained near immediate acceptance among lumberjacks in that area’s logging industry. Whether cut from Mackinaw blankets, Hudson’s Bay Blankets, or from Pendleton Blankets, these coats shared several important features. In a time when men in cities wore overcoats nearly exclusively in cold weather, these coats were cut short, generally with a length of 35 or 36 inches, to allow for freedom of movement. The short cut allowed for extremely heavyweight, warm fabric without the weight associated with a long coat. The bright colors and loud patterns of the blankets favored among these loggers soon found their way throughout the country, first as souvenirs, later as part of nationwide marketing.
Though lumberjacks were primarily of French-Canadian or Scottish-Canadian ancestry, mackinaw cloth owes its origins to Norwegian immigrants. The original cloth was homepun from wool from northern sheep. The early fabric was relatively coarse, and heavyweight, around 40oz. After it was woven, was “stumpfed”, or danced upon with soap and water with wooden shoes, usually accompanied by music and celebration. This process felted the fabric, shrinking it dramatically, and making it thicker, denser, warmer, and resistant to rain and further shrinkage. Commercially produced mackinaw cloth later mimicked this process mechanically. After weaving, the fabric was shrunk and felted (the stumpfing or fulling process) , then napped to give it a thick and fluffy texture, further increasing its insulation value.
In 1912, the FA Patrick company, proprietors of the Patrick-Duluth Woolen Mills of Duluth, Minnesota launched a new, refined mackinaw design. It was double breasted, belted and sported a collar described in the ads of the period as a “nansen” collar. Though the term also existed then, we now refer to this style as a shawl collar. The coat was 35″ long and was available in 24 and 32 oz wool mackinaw cloth, in a wide variety of colors. Salesman Harry Harrington began to pitch the Patrick Mackinaw to clothiers in college towns. “It was not long after that that mackinaws became a fad with students generally, and as the college student invariably sets the styles for young men’s clothing, it quickly spread over the whole country”. The early mackinaw trend was marketed in a similar way to the current workwear trend, trading on the rugged associations of the workers for whom the garment was originally designed. The mackinaw fad boomed, and shortly, a number of other manufacturers sprung onto the scene, producing mackinaws of varying quality from a variety of cloths. Large quantities of Patrick mackinaws were sold through such high end stores as Brooks Brothers, Rogers Peet, Wannamaker, Abercrombie and Fitch, Brokaw Brothers, and A. Raymond.
It is around this 1912-1913 period where the name “Mackinaw” begins to be more associated with the short, double breasted, shawl collar style, and less with the mackinaw cloth material from which it was made.
The Mackinaw was re-branded once again, marketed to farmers, children, hunters and outdoorsmen, workers, and sportsmen. Its durability, warmth, low price compared to comparable overcoats or sheeplined coats, made it an easy sell to these markets. Alongside sheeplined canvas coats, shawl collar Mackinaws became the de-facto winter coat of railroad employees.

 photo edit mackinaw.jpg

 photo DSCF1511.jpg

 photo DSCF1512.jpg

 photo DSCF1513.jpg

 photo DSCF1514.jpg

 photo DSCF1515.jpg

 photo DSCF1516.jpg

 photo DSCF1517.jpg

 photo fabricswatches.jpg

1920s-1930s Carss Mackinaw

This vintage coat was made in Ontario, Canada in the 1920s- mid 1930s by Carss Mackinaw. It is made from a distinctive plaid, with caped shoulders, four flapped, buttoned patch pockets, a belted back and a rolled collar. As was typical of work mackinaws of this early period, this one is unlined.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26-1/2″
Length (base of collar to hem): 31″

 photo edit carss.jpg

 photo DSCF1020.jpg

 photo DSCF1021.jpg

 photo DSCF1022.jpg

 photo DSCF1023.jpg

 photo DSCF1024.jpg

1930s Carter and Churchill Profile hunting coat

This vintage coat was made by the Carter & Churchill Co. of Lebanon, New Hampshire under their “Profile” label. It is made of red and black plaid mackinaw wool, with a button front, rounded collar, handwarmer pockets, patch breast and cargo pockets and an internal game pocket. It is half-lined for the game pouch, and unlined on the front. The cargo pocket has a set of shotgun shell pockets built in under the pocket flap. The game pouch does up with early style Talon chain zippers.

Carter and Churchill was founded in 1869 by William S. Carter, after leaving his uncle’s company, H.W. Carter & Sons. He was joined by Frank C. Churchill (former salesman for HW Carter), who would come to be the company’s treasurer. The company was headquartered in Lebanon, New Hampshire, with a plant at 15 Parkhurst Street. Starting in 1880, they produced clothing under the “Profile” label, named after the (former) New Hampshire rock formation, the Old Man of the Mountain. They registered that trademark in 1916. Early on, they were also producers of Lebanon Overalls, work shirts, mackinaws and coats. As the decades wore on, they dropped product lines to specialize in their ski clothing lines, which they continued producing into the 1990s, under the “Profile” name.

Chest (pit to pit): 24″ (doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (base of collar to hem): 29-1/2″

 photo edit profile.jpg

 photo DSCF0420.jpg

 photo DSCF0422.jpg

 photo DSCF0423.jpg

 photo DSCF0424.jpg

 photo DSCF0425.jpg

1950s Windward plaid mackinaw coat

This vintage mackinaw coat was made in the early 1950s for Montgomery Ward and was sold under their Windward Outdoor Clothing label. It is made of red, black and gray plaid mackinaw cloth, with a half-belt back and button on front belt. It bears a 1949 Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America union label, and a Windward label before the inclusion of the (R) symbol, which, combined with the quilted lining and subtle details, put the dating solidly in the early 1950s. The overall style of the coat from the outside is nearly unchanged from its first wave of popularity around 1935.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24-3/4″
Length (Base of collar to hem): 31″

 photo edit windward.jpg

 photo DSCF9935.jpg

 photo DSCF9936.jpg

 photo DSCF9941.jpg

 photo DSCF9937.jpg

 photo DSCF9938.jpg

 photo DSCF9939.jpg

 photo DSCF9940.jpg

 photo DSCF9942.jpg

 photo DSCF9943.jpg

1950s Field and Stream western jacket

This vintage jacket was made in the 1950s in St. Paul, Minnesota by Gordon & Ferguson, Inc. under their Field and Stream label. It is a classic western cut, with peak lapels, a three button front, yoked back, bi-swing shoulders and patch pockets.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25-3/4″
Length (base of collar to hem): 31″

 photo edit field and stream.jpg

 photo DSCF8940.jpg

 photo DSCF8941.jpg

 photo DSCF8942.jpg

 photo DSCF8943.jpg

1950s-1960s Sulka plaid bomber jacket

This vintage jacket was made in the late 1950s – 1960s. It is a classic post-war bomber jacket style, with a knit waistband and cuffs, and handwarmer pockets. The jacket is red and black buffalo plaid, with a faux-mouton collar. It has a quilted lining, with the sleeve linings marked Sulka.

Chest (pit to pit): 20″ (doubled = 40″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (base of collar to hem): 23-1/2″

 photo edit sulka.jpg

 photo DSCF7167.jpg

 photo DSCF7168.jpg

 photo DSCF7169.jpg

 photo DSCF7171.jpg

1960s Capps Clothes sportcoat

This vintage jacket was made in the early 1960s by Capps Clothiers for Osborn’s of Rapid City, South Dakota.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24-1/2″
Length (base of collar to hem): 29-1/2″

 photo edit capps.jpg

 photo DSCF6514.jpg

 photo DSCF6515.jpg

 photo DSCF6518.jpg

 photo DSCF6519.jpg

 photo DSCF6520.jpg