This vintage coat was made c.1935 by Congress Sportswear and would likely have been sold under the “Maine Guide” label. This is a highly unusual and short lived style produced by Congress, with a half-zip, half-button front. The bottom half zipped up with a Talon grommet zipper, and the top with a 3×6 double breasted closure, which can be buttoned closed, buttoned like coat lapels, or open like 19th century military uniforms. The coat has a zip hood, which can be folded up and snapped (with early United Carr snaps) to form a collar. The coat is unlined, as is typical of these early mackinaw coats, and has taped seams.
The coat is readily identifiable as a Congress Sportswear product by several details. Congress was one of the only manufacturers to produce this half-and-half style, but details, like the un-hemmed bottom edge, and the contrast pocket trim and cuff adjusters are unique to Maine Guide products. These coats were produced by Congress for several other house labels, namely Abercombie and Fitch.
The coat is made from Hudson’s Bay Company point blanket, with a 1930s label. This fabric was, at the time, one of the most expensive wool fabrics available for high-end outdoors garments. The zipper is identifiable as being manufactured in the mid 1930s by its bell shape, the deco rays found both on the slider and the pull and by the oval shaped attachment piece between the slider and pull, which had been replaced by the later 1930s by a square sided bersion. The grommets of the grommet zipper, as well as the primitive stop-box, are still in place, although the current zipper, slightly shorter than the original, can be identified as a later production model Talon by its rounded edged pull and stop-box design.
Chest (pit to pit): 24″ (doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (Base of collar to hem): 36-1/2″