The History of DryBak

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Drybak was a manufacturer of hunting clothing located in Binghamton, New York with factory at 168 Water street and later 67 Frederick Street. Early articles put their founding in 1904, while later advertising claims 1900.

From a 1950 newspaper article on Drybak, largely quoting a 1930 article on the company’s early years
The, “origin of the company dates back to the turn of the century when the Dimmick-Sheldon firm moved here from Newark, NJ. The company made footballs, hunting clothing, uniforms and similar products. It was combined with a local concern, Clark & Turner Co., that made flags, tents, awnings and leggings. The reorganized Sheldon Co. shortly went into bankruptcy and Lewis M. Weed of the old James B. Weed Co. took over its assets. The name of the firm was changed to Lewis M. Weed Co. [Henry] Munger and the late Herman A. Speh bought the firm in 1922. In 1930, Haskell & Davids, Binghamton pants manufacturers and Drybak were merged.

Drybak was given its present name in 1926 in order to capitalize on the company’s trade slogan, Dry Back or Money Back.”
The firm operated in three buildings on Water Street before it was move to its present location in 1936, at which time it employed 200 workers. The Frederick Street factory, one of the most modern clothing plants in the East, was built by Dunn and McCarthy, Inc., shoe manufacturers, in 1929. The firm sold the plant to Drybak in a move to consolidate its operations at its Charlotte Street Plant.”

Labels, 1910s-1920s
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In 1950, Henry Munger, who bought the firm in 1922, retired and sold his controlling shares in the company to women’s clothing company M.C. Schrank of Bridgeton, New Jersey. In late 1952, Drybak acquired noted outerwear brand, Albert Richard and shifted their manufacture previous owner Fried Ostermann’s factory in Milwaukee to one of M.C. Schrank’s factories in New Jersey with plans to eventually move production to Drybak’s factory in Binghamton. Labels were changed during that period to read, “Albert Richard by Drybak”.

Labels, 1930s-1950s. Label on the right is the most common
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In a bid to lower costs, Drybak sold their Binghamton factory in 1954 to the Link Aviation Co., discontinued all operations in New York, and closed a secondary factory in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. In 1955, Drybak acquired the Martin Mfg. Co. in Martin, TN and relocated their manufacturing to the Tennessee plant to take advantage of the lower labor costs in the south.

By 1965, Drybak had been acquired by the Brunswick Corporation of bowling alley fame and production had moved to existing Brunswick factories in Eminence, Kentucky and Chicago, Illinois. Around the same time, Brunswick had also acquired one of the other notable hunting garment companies, Red Head Brand. Production of Drybak goods continued for several years, but the brand appears to have been dropped around 1967-1968 so as not to compete with Red Head.

Labels, 1960s
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L.M. Weed Co. Duxbak hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/272080553061

This vintage vest was made in the 1910s-1920s by the L.M. Weed Company of Binghampton, New York under their DryBak label. It is made of high quality canvas with a six button front, closed bottomed shotgun shell pockets and a cinch back.

Chest (pit to pit): 19″ (doubled = 38″)

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1930s Drybak half moon hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/401007255851
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1930s by Drybak. It is a half-moon sleeveless jacket style, with large cargo pockets on the front and rear, and the “half moon” front entry to the buttoned internal game pouch.

Chest (pit to pit): 21-1/2″ (doubled = 43″)
Length (base of collar to hem): 25″

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Ralph Lauren reproduction 1920s hunting jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271738109867
This hunting jacket was made by Ralph Lauren as part of their now defunct Polo Sportsman line. It is made of brown canvas and is sort of a greatest hits version of 1910s-1930s hunting jackets, drawing mainly from the detailing of Red Head and Duxbak designs. It has a front entry half-moon style game pouch, double breast pocket and double round cargo pockets. The shoulders are reinforced and there is corduroy on the collar and inside the cuffs. The sleeves have double ventilated armpit gussets, the collar has a buttoned throat latch, and the cuffs have a distinctive button closure, which, unlike the rest of the detailing of the coat, I do not recognize.

Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 21″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24-1/2″
Length (base of collar to hem): 31″

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1920s Drybak hunting jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271727703096
This vintage jacket was made by the Drybak company of Binghamton, New York in the 1920s. It is made of canvas with a corduroy collar and cuff linings. The jacket has reinforced shoulders, a half-moon style front entry game pouch access with scalloped reinforcement stitching, a large flapped breast pocket, and handwarmer pockets which form the pocket flaps for large cargo pockets and shotgun shell pockets. It has combination sleeve panel / ventilated underarm gussets which are unique to Drybak, as well as a flip up ear warmer panel. The buttons are branded Drybak or Money Back and the jacket bears the early style red white and black Drybak tag.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 17″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 21-1/2″
Length (Base of collar to hem): 27″

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