c. 1935 Congress Sportswear half-zip, half button point blanket mackinaw coat

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271624812561
This vintage coat was made c.1935 by Congress Sportswear and would likely have been sold under the “Maine Guide” label. This is a highly unusual and short lived style produced by Congress, with a half-zip, half-button front. The bottom half zipped up with a Talon grommet zipper, and the top with a 3×6 double breasted closure, which can be buttoned closed, buttoned like coat lapels, or open like 19th century military uniforms. The coat has a zip hood, which can be folded up and snapped (with early United Carr snaps) to form a collar. The coat is unlined, as is typical of these early mackinaw coats, and has taped seams.
The coat is readily identifiable as a Congress Sportswear product by several details. Congress was one of the only manufacturers to produce this half-and-half style, but details, like the un-hemmed bottom edge, and the contrast pocket trim and cuff adjusters are unique to Maine Guide products. These coats were produced by Congress for several other house labels, namely Abercombie and Fitch.
The coat is made from Hudson’s Bay Company point blanket, with a 1930s label. This fabric was, at the time, one of the most expensive wool fabrics available for high-end outdoors garments. The zipper is identifiable as being manufactured in the mid 1930s by its bell shape, the deco rays found both on the slider and the pull and by the oval shaped attachment piece between the slider and pull, which had been replaced by the later 1930s by a square sided bersion. The grommets of the grommet zipper, as well as the primitive stop-box, are still in place, although the current zipper, slightly shorter than the original, can be identified as a later production model Talon by its rounded edged pull and stop-box design.

Chest (pit to pit): 24″ (doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length (Base of collar to hem): 36-1/2″

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1930s Grommet Zipper half-belt leather jacket

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281272035995
This vintage leather jacket was made in the mid 1930s. It is made from capeskin leather, rough side out. As was typical of these early-mid 1930s lightweight half-belt windbreaker styles, this one is unlined. It has an riveted “grommet” Talon zipper, a style which was produced from the early-mid 1930s, before being joined, then replaced by the deco “sunburst” style stopbox. The slider is an early style, with rays on the slider, a small hole puller, and an attachment section which is more oval shaped than those produced later in the 1930s. The jacket is a waist length Cossack style, and has a fancy pleated, belted back with side adjuster belts.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″
Shoulder to shoulder: 16-3/4″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 26″
Length (base of collar to hem): 21″

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Deadstock mid 1930s Talon Fantail Zippers

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281262585415
This rare vintage zipper was produced by Talon from the early to mid 1930s. In their advertising, this style was the style 110, while the slightly larger version was known as the style 109. The last photo shows a 110 and a 109 side by side for size comparison purposes. It is a pin lock style, with D-shaped stops at the top. According to original advertisements, these were sold with white cotton tape so that they could be dyed to match. These are a closed end, open top style, perfect for sleeve openings on motorcycle jackets and the like. The zipper track measures 3″, while the tape from end to end measures 4-1/2″.

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Talon Zip Ideal spats. 1937

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271221584141
These vintage spats were made in 1937 by the short lived company “Ideal Spats”. They were made shortly after Hookless re-organised into Talon, so while the puller has the traditional Hookless shape, it is only marked with the Talon name. The bottom of the stopbox is marked I7. The stopbox is of the sunburst “deco” design, and the slider mirrors the deco rays. The zipper is equipped with a rau snap, which secures the pull to the leather. The spats are a small size,

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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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Talon Zippers

There are many more patterns of Talon zippers out there, so consider this a (very) incomplete guide. It is interesting, though, to see the evolution of Talon sliding fasteners over the years, 1930s-1960s, in the design of their pullers and stop boxes.

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