This vintage leather flight suit was made by A.G. Spalding & Bros. Aviation Clothing, between 1928 and 1932. It has a mouton collar, an offset closure, belted waist, large map pocket with sharply scalloped pocket flap, thigh pockets and a full silk pile lining. It is a size 42, and is their model 402. The suit has seven Hookless Fastener Co. Talon zippers, with the double marked sliders that indicate a date of manufacture between 1928, when the name Talon was introduced, and 1932, when Hookless dropped their company name from the product in favor of simply “Talon”. The zips are on the sleeves, legs, the chest and on two pass through pockets so the aviator could access his pants pockets. The fly opening is accomplished by a snap on the zipper tape. The large collar has a hook closure at the neck and a three button throat latch under the collar, to really secure it during open cockpit flight. While not his suit, Charles Lindbergh was a prominent endorser of Spalding’s flight suits of this era.
Tagged size: 42
Chest (pit to pit): 23″ (doubled = 46″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25″
Length (base of collar to bottom of belt): 22″
Length (top of collar to bottom of leg): 61-1/2″
The flight suit has the original boots, also made by A.G. Spalding & Bros. Aviation Clothing. These are moccasin style, with a lace up front and Hookless Talon zipper back. They are fully sheepskin lined for warmth, with a double layer moccasin sole and tongues front and back. They are a large size, measuring 12-3/4″ front to back, and 4-5/8″ side to side and comfortably fitting my size 12 foot. Inside are sheepskin slippers, which appear to be of slightly later manufacture, either added for extra warmth, or more likely to down-size the boots for a second owner.
Lastly, there are two flight helmets, one original to the suit and also made by A.G. Spalding & Bros. Aviation Clothing and another unlabeled one. The Spalding cap is a size 7-3/8 model 1900 and has Spalding baseball branded snaps for the goggle retainers. The second cap is unmarked, with a snap closure and ear grommets.
Note: gloves are not part of the suit, and were for photographs only, they are not included.