This vest was made in the 1910s. It is made of brown canvas, with holders for 36 shotgun shells. The manufacturer, Guiterman Bros., pioneered the knit collar this vest bears. They began using it on leather jackets in 1912. By the 1920s, it would find its way onto the A-1 leather jacket. In Guiterman’s 1915 catalog, this model is identified as the M1206, and is described as a “Vest with Cartridge Holders”: “Dead Grass duck shell vest, four rows of cartridge holders for carrying thirty two cartridges, detachable buttons, adjustable strap in back; sizes 36 to 46. Each $10.”
The tag identifies the patent of the “Summit”, as Jan 30, 1912. The tag on the back identifies it as “Dri-Bak Rainproof”. The collar has extremely early U.S.F. snaps. The buttons are sewn, not detachable as the ad indicates. They have a wonderful lined pattern to them.
A bit about the maker: Guiterman Brothers was founded in 1883 and incorporated in 1904. They began using the Summit “Town & Country” name in 1904. In the early 1910s, Guiterman Brothers pioneered the attached soft collared shirt. They also called it the Summit. The company had a plant at 352 Silbey Street, St. Paul, MN, which still stands. They enjoyed prosperity during the 1910s, riding the Mackinaw boom of 1912-1915. They were supposedly the first company to coin the name “windbreaker”. As shown above, their “Town and Country” Coats and vests shared the distinctive double snap Knit-Nek. During WWI, Guiterman Bros. were one of the larger contractors for flying coats for US aviators. In 1928-1929, the company was purchased by Gordon and Ferguson.
Chest (pit to pit): 20-1/2″ (doubled = 41″)
M1206 – from the 1915 ad
More vests from 1915