1910s The Gem Hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271654532285
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.
This vest is their budget version, with sewn on buttons instead of changable ring-backed ones, and without the side adjusters or buckle back which other models featured.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (doubled = 42″)
Length (front): 22″
Length (rear): 19″

For other vests made by the Gem shirt company, see here and here

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1920s Fieldmaster half moon hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281433509205
This vintage vest was made in the late 1920s. It was sold by Sears under the Fieldmaster Gun Coats label. This label design is the early version used by Sears during this period. In the 1930s, these were mostly sold under the Double Duty label, and had slightly different detailing. The vest (or sleeveless coat as period ads always refer to these as) has an interior game pocket with a belt adjuster. The half moon pocket gives front access to this pocket. The shoulders are reinforced and the vest has two large wraparound bellows pockets.

Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
Length (collar to hem): 24″

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1930s Red Head Brand half-moon hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271492450158
This vest was made in the 1930s by Red Head Brand, a high end maker of hunting and outdoorsman’s garments. This style has come to be known as a half-moon hunting vest, after the shape of its pass through pockets into the game pouch. Period advertisements generally referred to this style as a sleeveless jacket rather than as a vest. This one has pleated, flapped patch pockets on the front, as well as two patch pockets on the lining. There is a roomy breast pocket, just the right size for a pack of cigarettes, The half-moons pass through to the roomy internal game pocket, which closes with a button.

The vest still has the original Red Head tag, shaped, appropriately, like a duck. The tag reads – “Red Head Fits The Sport. The Red Head duck signifies that this article is backed by years of experience in the equipping of sportsmen. It is your guarantee that nothing has been spared to assure you of satisfaction in the field – that the Red Head standard of quality, workmanship, and above all, the integrity of the Red Head Brand, known by sportsmen for over forty years, is the inimitable ingredient of the product. Play safe and look for this symbol when purchasing outdoor equipment – Red Head Brand Co. – Chicago”

Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
Length: 27″

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1910s “The Gem” hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271301060308
This vintage hunting vest was made by the Gem Shirt Company of Dayton, Ohio in the 1910s. The Gem Shirt Co. 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. The vest has 32 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 of the vest has a buckled belt, and a stitched-on tab added by the original owner, probably to hold his hunting license. The vest has a five button front, with metal buttons reading “The Gem”. The buttons attach via grommets and rings. The vest has a typically 1910s style yellow on black label.

Chest (pit to pit): 21″ (double = 42″)
Length: 18-1/2″

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1911. “The Gem” trademark registered. Logo matches that on this vest.

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1912 – Ad for The Gem hunting coats

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1917 – Photo of “The Gem” hunting coat

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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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Unmarked Hunting Vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281191023485
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1930s. It no longer bears a label, but it is typical of the products of some of the smaller companies making vests at that time. It has a high button stance, broadly cut shoulders, 32 shotgun shell pockets, a plain back and lightweight canvas, worn soft over the years.

Chest (pit to pit): 20″
Length: 17-3/4″

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1920s Duxbak vest – size 42

http://www.ebay.com/itm/271278932633
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1920s. The DuxBak line was started in 1906 by Bird, Jones and Kenyon, and had a factory located at 1 Blandina St., Utica, NY. Prior to the 1920s, Duxbak used the slogan “Duxbak Sportsman’s Clothing” in their advertisements and on their tags. During the 1920s, they switched to ” Duxbak Rain Proof Sportsman’s Clothing”. By the 1930s, they had changed their label to include a graphic of a hunter, and to emphasize “Utica”.

This shell vest design changed very little from when it was introduced in the early 1900s until this one was produced. As it was a garment of pure function, it was not beholden to the whims of fashion. A good design was a good design, and they stuck with it. It has loops for 32 shotgun shells on the front and 16 on the back, for a total of 48. The loops have a canvas top and an early rubber elastic bottom. They are of an open bottomed design, and have leather reinforcement tabs at the end of each row of loops. The vest has a five button front and all buttons bear the duxbak name. This vest was sold originally by the Ambrose Sporting Goods Co., which was located at 132 South Main Street, Memphis, TN. The company seems to have had their peak in the late 1920s, although they did make it through the depression.

Tagged Size:
Chest (pit to pit): 21-1/2″ (doubled = 43″)
Length (neck to hem down back):19-1/2″

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1920s DuxBak hunting vest

http://www.ebay.com/itm/281160337309
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1920s. The DuxBak line was started in 1906 by Bird, Jones and Kenyon, and had a factory located at 1 Blandina St., Utica, NY. Prior to the 1920s, Duxbak used the slogan “Duxbak Sportsman’s Clothing” in their advertisements and on their tags. During the 1920s, they switched to ” Duxbak Rain Proof Sportsman’s Clothing”. By the 1930s, they had changed their label to include a graphic of a hunter, and to emphasize “Utica”.

This shell vest design changed very little from when it was introduced in the early 1900s until this one was produced. As it was a garment of pure function, it was not beholden to the whims of fashion. A good design was a good design, and they stuck with it. It has loops for 28 shotgun shells, a high buttoning neckline to protect the wearer from the elements, and a buckle back to adjust for a comfortable fit. The buckle used on the back bears the patent number “819180”, which shows that this buckle design dates from 1906. The vest has a six button front, and all the buttons bear the DuxBak name.

Tagged Size:
Chest (pit to pit): 18-3/4″ (doubled = 37.5″)
Length (neck to hem down back):18″

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