1920s DuxBak hunting vest

This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1920s. The DuxBak line was started in 1906 by Bird, Jones and Kenyon, and had a factory located at 1 Blandina St., Utica, NY. Prior to the 1920s, Duxbak used the slogan “Duxbak Sportsman’s Clothing” in their advertisements and on their tags. During the 1920s, they switched to ” Duxbak Rain Proof Sportsman’s Clothing”. By the 1930s, they had changed their label to include a graphic of a hunter, and to emphasize “Utica”.

This shell vest design changed very little from when it was introduced in the early 1900s until this one was produced. As it was a garment of pure function, it was not beholden to the whims of fashion. A good design was a good design, and they stuck with it. It has loops for 28 shotgun shells, a high buttoning neckline to protect the wearer from the elements, and a buckle back to adjust for a comfortable fit. The buckle used on the back bears the patent number “819180”, which shows that this buckle design dates from 1906. The vest has a six button front, and all the buttons bear the DuxBak name.

Tagged Size:
Chest (pit to pit): 18-3/4″ (doubled = 37.5″)
Length (neck to hem down back):18″

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Early 1940s half-belt leather jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made in the early 1940s. Unfortunately, the maker’s tag is long gone, but it can be fairly accurately dated using other details. In one of the pockets is a union tag from the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. The last digit of the tag is mis-printed, but I believe it’s a 1939 tag, not a 1936. This puts the dating between 1939, when that tag first came into usage, and 1949, when it was replaced by a different design. The zipper is a spring loaded crown zipper, of the type used in the early 1940s, notably on several contracts of Army Air Force A-2 flight jackets. That narrows the dating from about 1939 to 1945.

The leather, still nicely soft and supple, has developed a nice fade and patina from its original russet brown color through decades of wear. The wear is heaviest on the neck of the collar, the hem and the cuffs. The jacket’s design is a classic: half belt back with side belt adjusters. The back has pleats to bring it in at the waist. On the front, there are two small flapped pockets, with double stitching to give them the look of patch pockets. Above them are buttoned, vertical chest pockets. The pockets are lined in a soft cotton flannel, and are presumably designed as hand-warmers. The body of the jacket is lined with plaid cotton in cream, blue and brown, and the sleeves in plain cotton.

Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25″
Length (base of collar to hem): 28″

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1940s Adam Homburg

This vintage homburg was made by the Adam hat company in the late 1940s. It is gray fur felt, with a black ribbon and wind string and a bound brim. The hat has a brown leather sweatband, marked “Adam Executive, Cushioned for Comfort”, and “A product of Adam – America’s famous hatter”. The hat has a fancy pleated lining with the Adam logo. The size tag also bears the Adam name, and indicates that it is a 7-1/4, though it seems to have shrunk slightly. The hat has a center dent and front pinches. Despite the formal reputation that hats like this now have, at the time, they were worn in a variety of situations, from casual to semi-formal. The pinches dress the hat down a bit.

Size: 7-1/4
Brim Width: 2-3/4″
Ribbon Width: 2″
Crown Height: 5-1/2″

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Stetson Stratoliner

This vintage fedora was made by the John B. Stetson company in the 1950s. It is their legendary “Stratoliner” model, named after the Boeing 307 Stratoliner airplane. The model was similar to Stetson’s “Open Road”, but with slightly more flange to the brim. While the Open road was marketed with more western iconography, the Stratoliner was sold as a modern, sporty hat. This one was made with fur felt of the “Royal” designation. It has a brown leather sweatband, with Stetson’s 1950s crest. It has a three color liner logo, which indicates a date of manufacture towards the end of the decade. This hat was sold by Cronin-Peterson Men’s Wear of Rochester, Minnesota. It still has the original price tag on the sweatband.

Size: 7-1/4
Brim Width: 2-1/2″
Ribbon Width: 3/8″
Crown Height: 5-3/8″

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Sears Topline leather jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made for Sears under the short lived “Topline Men’s Wear” line. I have only been able to find ads for that particular line from the wartime years, early-mid 1940s. The jacket is a classic half-belt style. It has dual vertical chest pockets. The back has a half-belt. The buttons on either side of the belt indicate that when it was new, it probably had a button-on full belt. As with this one, most jackets that were so equipped had the belts discarded decades ago. The jacket is made of supple capeskin, which has been worn to a soft patina. The jacket has a quilted lining. The jacket fastens with a transitional Talon zipper. The pull is of the small-holed variety seen in the late 1930s and early 1940s, while the stop-box is a design seen more often in the mid through late 1940s.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25″
Length: 27″

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Campus Sportswear horsehide leather jacket

This jacket was made in the late ’40s-mid 1950s timeframe by Campus Sportswear. It is made of horsehide in a classic half-belt utility jacket design that was popular from the 1930s-1950s. This one brings a bit of a ’50s twist to the design in the form of the swooping stitching/welt running up the front of the jacket. The jacket has slash handwarmer pockets, a zipped breast pocket, and adjuster belts on the sides. It has a brass Talon zipper of the design introduced in the late 1940s. The jacket has a quilted lining.

Chest (pit to pit): 22-1/2″
Shoulder to shoulder: 17-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23-1/2″
Length: 25″

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1920s A-1 leather jacket (repro)


This jacket is a very close copy of the suede leather “windbreaker” jackets of the 1920s which evolved into the A-1 flight jacket. Many of these early jackets were made of lightweight leathers, suede or capeskin, and were unlined. Separable bottom zippers were not invented until 1927, and didn’t come to jackets until c.1930, so jackets of the 1920s had button fronts. In this period, knit collars, cuffs and waistbands were popular. These jackets were marketed toward the sporting market: golfers, hunters, outdoorsmen. This short style would come to be adopted by civilian aviators, as it was far less clumsy than the full length coats of the WWI period.

There are no tags or identifying marks. Though this jacket is vintage, probably from the ’60s or so from the look of the buttons, it is a good reproduction of that 1920s style. It has caramel colored buttons and is made from rough-out capeskin. It is entirely unlined.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 23-1/2″
Length: 23″

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Late 1930s belted leather jacket

This vintage leather jacket was made in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Whereas many jackets of this era either had a button on belt, or a half-belt back, this one has a full attached belt. It has an action back It has two buttoned vertical pockets on the chest, and flapped buttoned pockets. The front is done up with a deco sunburst Talon zipper, which helps pin the date down. The jacket is fully lined. Though the tag is missing, the leather on this jacket feels like other horsehide jackets of this era I’ve had. The leather has developed a great patina over time, and the grain has really started to pop on the back panels.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25-1/2″
Length: 25-1/2″

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