This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1920s. It is made from canvas, with thirty four closed bottomed shotgun shell loops. It has a high necked closure to keep out the elements, similar to the Browns Beach vests of the period, which were also designed for hunting. The vest has a buckle back. An ink-stamped canvas tag identifies this as a size 40.
This vintage hunting vest was made by the Gem Shirt Company of Dayton, Ohio in the 1910s. The Gem Shirt Co. diversified into canvas hunting clothes in the early part of the 20th century, innovating the usage of lined waterproof game bags. They were a high end maker at the time, making their products from an excellent grade of cotton canvas duck. The vest has 32 closed bottomed reinforced corduroy shotgun shell pockets on the front of the vest. The corduroy material is somewhat unusual, a nice early detail. The back of the vest has a buckled belt, and a stitched-on tab added by the original owner, probably to hold his hunting license. The vest has a five button front, with metal buttons reading “The Gem”. The buttons attach via grommets and rings. The vest has a typically 1910s style yellow on black label.
Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (double = 42″)
1911. “The Gem” trademark registered. Logo matches that on this vest.
1912 – Ad for The Gem hunting coats
1917 – Photo of “The Gem” hunting coat
1918. Guiterman Bros Town and Country vest, Gem Hunting Coat and a Springfield Rifle
1923. Gem Hunting Vests and coats. This is the last I can find on the company.