This vintage mackinaw coat was made in Camden, Maine by the J.A. Brewster company. The company was founded in the 19th century by Jarvis Adelbert Brewster. The company produced high quality outerwear for the harsh Maine winters, with locations in Camden and Freeport Maine. The LL Bean flagship store would later be built at the site of Brewster’s Freeport location. Brewster produced the first run of red wool outdoorsman’s shirts for the Boy Scouts in the 1940s. This coat was made in the late 1930s. The style is pure function, with an oversized collar to block out harsh winter winds. A throat latch / chinstrap makes sure it stays snug when up. The coat is single breasted, with handwarmer pockets on the chest and patch pockets on the hips. As was the style up through the 1930s, this coat is unlined. To make up for the lack of lining and still retain warmth, these early coats were made of super thick wool. After WWII, when lighter weight coats began to be more popular, quilted linings made up for the lower quality of the shell. This one has some of the thickest wool I’ve seen on this type of coat. The tag position is consistent with the dating- later coats by this maker generally had the tag on the inside by the collar.
Chest (pit to pit): 24″ (doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 25″
Length (collar to hem): 30″
This old Boy Scouts scoutmaster hat has shrunk up to almost nothing. That’s just what wool felt does when it gets wet, and why, if you can, you should buy fur felt. But what a band. Hand tooled (wonder if someone got a merit badge for that?) with a roller buckle.
Without the sweatband, it’s pretty much impossible to date the hat itself, other than to say “old”.