Sunday, August 30, 2015

THE B SIDE .....

left regular early cotton cloth shell ,on the right the EZ twill version

Just like sometimes with a good old 45Rpm record,the B side is more exiting than the A one .I'd say this is the case with today's post .Featured today,alongside a 1944 issued B-15 is a newly acquired beauty, that'll get a place of choice in the "Riveted vault"

This jacket by METRO SPORTSWEAR of NY ,was made of the most desirable "EZ twill clothe" .EZ stands for: end zone twill ,a fabric made off 100% cotton and 100% rayon with a shiny appearance .This twill was created by Hirsch-Werner, Inc. and was formerly used in the manufacturing of football pants because of its extreme durability and strength. When the B-15 was introduced, 9 months after the B-10,at the beginning the EZ Twill was only used as a trim on stress and heavy-wear areas of the lining.As the original cotton twill used on the former B-10 and the newly issued B-15 ,revealed to be too weak and fragile,METRO, alongside few other manufacturers, received contracts for some of their entire production of B-15 to be made completely of End-Zone Twill.

today's jacket is one of them and was issued to a pilot or crew of a B29 flying fortress part of the  357th bomb squadron very heavy part of the 331st bomber group 20th AF.Mission of the squadron was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands. the squadron based on Guam entered  combat on 16 June 1945 with a bombing raid against an airfield on Mo en. Flew first mission against the Japanese home islands on 26 June 1945 and afterwards operated principally against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flew primarily low-level, fast attacks at night using a mixture of high-explosive and incendiary bombs to attack targets.

Flew last combat mission on 15 August 1945, later flew in "Show of Force" mission on 2 September 1945 over Tokyo Bay during formal Japanese Surrender. Inactivated on Guam 15 April 1946, personnel returned to the United States and aircraft sent to storage in Southwest United States.

Some copies of original specifications of the B-15 sent to the manufacturers .....................

Friday, August 7, 2015

A MAD MAN'S SWEATSHIRT from the famous © 1962 Beethoven series

Howard Luck Gossage [1917-1969] was one of the original "MAD MEN"
H.L Gossage's agency was based in a repurposed firehouse in San Francisco, in the late 1950s/60's. HLG was frequently referred to, as "The Socrates of San Francisco,"He never did a TV commercial in his life; and sometimes turned down business in order to keep his staff under 13 people.
At the time, many of his peers regarded him as an oddity ,but HLG, was a natural and active fundraiser, He helped launch the environmental movement and left a legacy of brilliant communication campaigns, which for the first time showed that advertising isn’t just about selling a product, it can be used to change the world.
 When dying from leukemia in July 1969, he lamented: ‘I’ve never done anything that means anything to anyone in this world except maybe inventing the Beethoven sweatshirt.

And for those of you who'd like to go a little further with this post ,here's a court report dating from April 1962 regarding  copyright infringement on the famous sweatshirt line :plaintiff the Weiner&Gossage company who created the original sweatshirts back in 1961 ....

The Ramsey Lewis trio sporting the Bach version of the sweatshirt 

Thursday, July 30, 2015


As my friend Kevin would say :" for real quilt collectors , a depression era quilt is not old" and i agree with that statement ,but for a vintage denim enthusiast, it's a total different story ,especially if you mention the words Stifel and calico in the same sentence .so today's post will be about a 30's quilt from my collection entirely made of Stifel calico prints .i've chosen to only showcase the indigo ones ......enjoy 
Born in 1807 in Germany, Johann Ludwig Stifel immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland when he was 26. He later moved to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, where he learned the textile trade working in a wool mill. Armed with the knowledge of the trade, the young entrepreneur made his way to Wheeling in the 1830s,Legend says he walked all the way to Wheeling, where, in 1835, he established a small dyeing shop in a log cabin with just a $10 investment and a piece of cotton cloth. within a short time of opening his dye shop, business grew enough for Johann to open a larger 2 levels calico shop .The lower levels was for dyeing and printing while the upper level housed Johann's family...
In 1859, Johann’s sons Louis C. and William F. joined the company and, when their father retired fifteen years later, J.L. Stifel and Sons had grown into one of the nation’s largest calico printing establishments.
The third generation of Stifels moved the calico works to a new location in Wheeling on Main Street between 3rd and 4th Streets.  The company had grown from a one-man operation in a log cabin to a 70,000 square foot plant, with many employees, which was shipping products like indigo dyed prints internationally. A meticulous process, the manufacturing including singeing the cloth to remove fuzz and lint, boiling the cloth to remove waxes and oils, bleaching the cloth to remove natural colors, and dyeing the cloth with indigo extracts to give it the distinctive Stifel indigo blue color .all dies imported from Calcutta.
During the First and Second World Wars, the company switched over to war time production, providing textiles for France as well as khaki for American soldiers. By 1943, almost 90% of the company’s production was war-related like most of his competitors .....
After World War II, increasing costs and foreign competition caused instability in the national textile industry. Stifel merged with Indian Head Mills in New York in 1957, but even after the contracts were signed the company had to phase out operations. On December 17, 1957 after 122 years of service, Stifel & Sons Calico Works closed. The plant sat empty until March 8, 1961 when it caught fire and the entire building was destroyed. All that was left standing was a 275 foot smokestack, which was finally toppled on March 25, 1969......

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Today's post is about a rare 20's pair of overalls made under Sear's iconic brand : Hercules.To find such a pair in a crisps condition ,is almost impossible nowadays ,especially a pre 30's small single pocket example.So ,for your eyes only , here are some details ,such as the interesting mix of single and triple stitching ,watch pocket and change pocket with selvage and so on .......enjoy

Monday, June 29, 2015


For those of you who have been following the blog for a while ,you might remember that a little over 4 years ago ,i came up with a very limited run of silk screened t shirts that ,thx to friends and enthusiastic customers ,sold quite fast . 

This time ,even if the general idea is basically the same :making some shirts that "could have been", I wanted a more authentic feel ,so i gave it a twist .Each design is hand printed using old paints and brushes on a recycled used shirt carefully selected for its feel and look in order to achieve that "been there done that" look of a customized field made shirt .
Four themes were developed for that project:USN,USMC,AAF and hot rod all inspired by real vintage pieces from my personal collection.Every shirt was printed differently also ,some monochrome ,some 2 tones ,some front and back mixing some designs in the process.As always the more you're gonna wash them the better they'll look .

This time, i've decided,that the collection will be sold uniquely through what i consider to be the best vintage store in SF period :RELIC VINTAGE.
I'm pleased to have the collection featured in such a great place ,for my good buddy Oran Scott ,owner of the store,has been very supportive of the project from the beginning.
So,for those of you interested ,don't hesitate to get in touch with Oran or his lovely staff for the lowdown on that little project of mine .

and forget to ask for the RVETED T-SHIRTS

they can be reached at:
relicvintage on instagram or on their facebook page 
phone #: 415-255-7460 
hurry up ......