This vintage coat was made in the 1920s from Hudson’s Bay Company Point blankets for Devine’s of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. It is an early style, double breasted, with D-pocket stitched handwarmers and round flapped patch pockets. This particular round pocketed variant of blanket coat was favored by western star, Tom Mix, around this time frame. As is typical of mackinaws of this era, this one is unlined. The coat has decorative stitching at the exposed edge, a holdover from capote styling. It originally had a belt, which would have likely had a button closure, but as is typical, it is no longer with the coat. The blanket is of the pre-war English manufactured type, with a deeper nap than later blankets, and a thick “point”, which is placed on the inside of the coat. It bears the style Hudson’s Bay Point Blanket label which ceased being used in the late 1920s, and a typically 1920s black and yellow manufacturers tag, which reads, “Made Expressly for Devine’s, Soo Canada”.
Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 19-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 27″
Length (Base of collar to hem): 37″
This vintage coat was made by Carss Mackinaw, probably in the 1920s. This is a rare version. Most were made in striped point blanket material, with four patch pockets and a belted back. This one is made from a wool plaid. It has a squared off shawl collar, with patch breast pockets and handwarmers in a shape which would eventually inspire the D-Pocket found on motorcycle jackets. There are access flaps to an internal game pocket, and adjuster belts, mounted high on the back. The shoulders have pinked capes.
Chest (pit to pit): 24″ (doubled = 48″)
Shoulder to shoulder: 18-1/2″
Sleeve (shoulder to cuff): 24″
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, 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.
I found this vintage sweater in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. It is handmade from a pattern by the Canadian company, Mary Maxim dating to the 1960s, and depicts the sport of Five Pin Bowling, played only in Canada. Watch the video below to see another one of these sweaters in action.
I recently bought these two Montreal made D-Pocket motorcycle jackets. Both were made by different iterations of the same company, British Sportswear and British Cycle Leathers, which would later become Brimaco. It’s always interesting having similar pieces of vintage clothing like this at the same time to be able to do direct comparisons of fit and details.
The black jacket is a later model of the earlier silver one, which in turn draws heavy inspiration from the Harley Davidson Cycle Champ jacket.On to the comparisons.
Leather color aside, while the two jackets follow the same pattern, there are a number of differences between them. Some of these are due simply to the date of manufacture and the hardware which was readily available at that point. Others are subtle, yet distinct, changes in the pattern.
The design of the d-pocket changed, growing in size, with less tapered ends. The two pockets lost their clipped corners and single stitching replaced double. Hardware changed, with different patterns of Lightning zippers used from one to the next, and different belt buckles and studs, but that has more to do with availability than design. The belt on the newer jacket is backed in cloth, while on the silver jacket it has a backing of black leather. The belt buckles are inset in different ways from one to the next, with triangular reinforcement stitching on the black one. Epaulettes are false on the silver jacket, stitched to the shoulder. They are more conventional and snap down on the black one. The silver jacket has open cuffs that zip closed and have a snap tab at the end of the cuff. The black jacket also has zipped cuffs, but the leather of the sleeve is continuous and the zippers are there for adjustment of the sleeve diameter. The lining pattern is different one to the next, as is the collar shape