1910s “The Gem” Special hunting vest

This vintage hunting vest was made by the Gem Shirt Company of Dayton, Ohio in the 1910s. The Gem Shirt Co. was founded c.1888, and 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. They ceased production by the 1920s.
The vest has 37 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 is belted, but instead of the usual vest style central belt and buckle arrangement, this one has double side adjuster belts. It has Southwick buckles, a type patented in 1906, also used on some DuxBak vests of the period. It has an early black and yellow label, which identifies this model as the “Special”, made for “Outers and Hunters”. The grouse on the label is carried through onto the figural buttons. They are removable ring-back, of the type common on workwear of the period.

Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
Length (front): 24″
Length (rear): 19″

For another vest made by “The Gem”, see here. A comparison of the two is below.

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Patent no 819,180, as found on the back of the buckle.  Patented May 1, 1906
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The logo for “The Gem” was trademarked in 1911, although it had been in use since 1888. The label on this vest reads “Registered”, dating it after 1911.
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Ad for “The Gem” from 1912

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The Gem Hunting Coat, 1917

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1918. Guiterman Bros Town and Country vest, Gem Hunting Coat and a Springfield Rifle

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1923. Gem Hunting Vests and coats.  This is the last I can find on the company.

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1920s point blanket Carss Mackinaw coat

This vintage mackinaw coat was made in Orillia, Ontario in the 1920s or 1930s by the Carss Mackinaw company. It is made of striped point blanket material, with four patch pockets and a belted back. It has a squared off shawl collar, and caped shoulders, both distinctively Carss details. The coat is unlined, as is typical of mackinaws of this era.

Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
Length: 30-1/2″

A bit about the company, from a history piece I wrote for “The Fedora Lounge”: Carss Mackinaw made blanket coats in Orillia, Ontario from at least 1897. Their signature model was single breasted with caped shoulders and a squared-off shawl collar. They are most commonly seen in red, green, and khaki, all with a blanket stripe at the base. The fabric used in these coats was advertised as a whopping 44oz (although this one feels lighter), and was sourced from a variety of trade blanket manufacturers, including Hudson’s Bay and the Bird Woolen Mills. They were advertised as “The Only Genuine Mackinaw Made In Canada”. They were retailed by the Hudson’s Bay Company, as well as other stores.

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