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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