This vintage suit was made in the 1930s in Seattle, Washington by high end workwear and outdoor-garment manufacturer Black Bear Brand as part of their “Rain-Tite” water repellent clothes range. Black Bear Brand produced work shirts, pants, overalls, jackets and mackinaws from their plant on Rainier Ave. S. This suit is made from army duck canvas, the jacket from 10oz duck and the pants from 8 oz duck. It appears they both started out life a medium brown canvas, but years of wear and layers of waterproofing have darkened it. Both are extremely heavy duty, and are physically heavy and stiff, both from the material and from the wax proofing. The back of the jacket is two layers of the 10 oz canvas through the body, with three layers on the shoulders. The sleeves are two layers. It is constructed with overlapping capes and layers to keep everything dry in harsh weather. The pants are two layers as well. They are cut to be worn with tall boots. They have suspender buttons and belt loops. There is a crotch gusset, and a patch watch pocket inside the side pocket.
In the pocket of the pants, I found the package of a trolling spoon and an Elks matchbook advertising war bonds. This suit probably hasn’t been worn in a good 70 years or so if those are still in-tact in the pocket. The snaps are all branded “Union Made” as are all the buttons. There are union tags from the United Garment Workers of America inside the jacket and inside the flap of the back pocket of the pants. The waterproofing is still good- water beads up and falls right off. This type of suit was frequently worn by lumbermen in the North West. The heavy wear supports this. Going by the matchbook, the original owner of this one was probably from Vancouver.
Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42″)
Shoulder to shoulder (under cape): 22″
Sleeve (Shoulder to cuff): 20″
Length (base of collar to hem): 28-1/2″
Waist: 17″ (doubled = 34″)