Waldorf Astoria German Uniforms cigarette card book


This vintage book has 309 of the 312 color cigarette cards, each with a different uniform of the army. There is some yellowing and damage, see photos.

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Blue Streak Union Suits – 1926

An early menswear usage of the Hookless fastener. Union suits were the most common type of mens underwear from the 1900s-1920s. For years, manufacturers experimented with new designs to reduce the number of buttons, and the complexities of the design. More often than not, these solutions actually made the designs significantly more complex, and did not catch on.
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Zippers come to jackets, 1927-1930

The fully separable zipper was invented in 1927 by Gideon Sundback. It’s covered by patents 1813433 and 1813432.
From the invention of the zipper in 1913 until that point, zippers had been limited in their usage by an attached end. It was suitable for coverall suits, luggage and pullovers. But it made it inconvenient for applications in jackets. The new unlockable/ fully separable bottom end of the zipper allowed for its easy usage on jackets. By 1930, zipper fronted jackets were well on their way to becoming common.

1925. Typical 1920s style. Button front, marketed as a windbreaker, specifically for the sporting set. Suede was extremely common in this era.
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1929. Before the modern separable bottom to the zipper, this pullover style was the workaround.
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1930. Early zipper front style.
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It looks like these clear vinyl products started being marketed in 1939. They made Elasti-Glass belts, suspenders, sock garters, neckties, watch straps, wallet inserts, pipe humidors, raincoats, and rain chaps.

Munsingwear 1939-1946

This ad campaign for Munsingwear ran 1939-1946. It was a pivotal time in the industry, as people switched from one piece knit or broadcloth union suits to the modern “streamlined” standard of briefs and boxers. Also notable is the introduction of t-shirts as a piece of outerwear, though at the time, it was reserved for casual and sporting contexts.