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.
This vintage jacket was made in the early 1930s, probably between about 1930 and 1934. This style, with the plain back, side panels with buckle adjusters, leather waistband and small patch pockets, was one of the first jacket styles to become popular following the invention of the separable bottomed zipper in 1930. The jacket has a buttoned throat latch / chinstrap, and while the zipper is a 1950s Conmar, replacing what would likely have been a double branded Hookless/Talon, the grommets from the original zip are still in place at the waistband.
Chest (pit to pit): 18″ (doubled = 36″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 15″
Length (base of collar to hem): 23-1/2″
This vintage jacket was made in Kansas City, Missouri, as a civilian version of the US army B-2 Flight jacket, issued in the early 1930s, and replaced by the B-3 in 1934. The army version was made of horsehide, with a single breast pocket, attached belt zippered cuffs on the inside of the wrist, and a full alpaca lining and mouton collar. This jacket was produced with a civilian label and a few alterations to the pattern. This jacket is made from capeskin, and with handwarmer pockets instead the large breast patch pocket that was universally removed from the army production version. This jacket has an off-center Talon main zipper, with bell-shaped slider and unmarked diagonal-stripe sunburst stopbox. The sleeves have zipper cuffs, with early pattern United Carr snaps and bell shaped talon zippers. The jacket has heavy wear, and the label has been partially worn away. The remaining text reads “aviation” and “Kansas City Mo”. There is a remnant of what looks to be a wing logo. The size tag is of the black and yellow design used on military jackets, and the pocket linings are the distinctive shade of twill used in the linings of A-2 jackets. These details point to this jacket having been made as part of a specialized civilian aviator’s line by a manufacturer which held a military jacket contract.
Chest (pit to pit): 21-1/2″ (doubled = 43″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 16″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (base of collar to hem): 22″
This vintage hunting coat was made in Woolrich, Pennsylvania in the early 1930s by John Rich / Woolrich Woolen Mills. The 503 style hunting coat as been around with relatively few changes for the better part of a century, but the details make it easy to date. This is the earliest version of this coat I have seen.
While many Woolrich labels look relatively similar in isolation, the company changed their design every few years. This label was used in the very early 1930s. See the dating guide I have put together at the end of the auction. The snaps in this coat are by United Carr, and are a design only used from about 1930-1934. The top of the snap, with its line design, was used by Woolrich until about 1940. They switched to plain headed snaps during WWII, then to Woolrich branded snaps after the war. These early coats have asymmetrical breast pockets, while starting in the late 1950s, Woolrich switched to matching breast pockets. The brown buttons on this early coat are nicer than the red bakelite buttons which Woolrich began to use in the mid 1930s, which has a tendency to craze and crack over time.
Chest (pit to pit): 25″
Shoulder to shoulder: 20″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25″
Length (base of collar to hem): 28″