This vintage vest was made in the 1930s by Red Head Brand under their Blue Bill label. In the 1940s, Blue Bill changed their logo, and began including the (R) symbol. It has closed bottomed canvas shotgun shell pockets, 38 on the front and 18 on the back, for a total of 56. The shotgun shells on the back take the place of the more traditional belted back. The vest has a five button front.
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.
This vintage hunting vest was made in the 1930s by the Marshall Clothing Manufacturing Company of Butler, Indiana, under their “Gamemaster” label. The Marshall Clothing company was a well regarded manufacturer of sportswear- letterman jackets, basketball uniforms, gym shorts and the like. This vest has a five button front, with a high neck closure, reminiscent of early Brown’s Beach vests, also marketed towards the hunting market. This one is made of brown canvas, with closed bottomed loops for 32 shotgun shells. These loops are all covered with flaps to protect the cartridges from the elements. This vest also has a flapped bellows pleated breast pocket.
Chest (pit to pit): 22″ (doubled = 44″)
This vintage hunting vest was made by the Utica Duxbak Corp. of Utica, New York in the 1930s. This one has the 1930s style label, which reads, “Duxbak Rain Proof Sanforized Sportsman’s Clothing”. It has a five button front and thirty two closed bottomed loops for shotgun shells. This particular model has a plain back (other options included an additional row of shotgun shells, and a belt-back). The canvas is densely woven and has acquired a great wear pattern over the years.
Chest (pit to pit): 20″ (doubled = 40″)
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.
Chest (pit to pit): 21-1/2″ (doubled = 43″)
Length (neck to hem down back):19-1/2″
This vintage vest was custom madein the 1950s, by “Jackie”. This kind of label was typical for small, cottage industry seamstresses of the period. The vest is made from a Pendleton indian blanket, and the seams are trimmed with blanket material. It has a three button front. There are several surface moth bites on the right shoulder.
This vintage vest was custom made mid-century from a Pendleton blanket. It is reversible, with patch pockets on both sides. All the seams are finished neatly and properly such that it truly is reversible. The side seams are cut like shirt tails.
Chest (pit to pit): 25″ (doubled = 50″)
This vintage vest was made in the 1910s. It has an incredible weave, be sure to see the close up photo. It has five mother of pearl buttons and a belted back. There are repairs around the buttons, and staining throughout the vest. The belt is missing its buckle, and is pinned up for the photos.
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.