Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WW2 BAUSCH & LOMB SAFETY GOGGLES

The goggles and their original box .Notice the" B&L seal" engraved on the glass.Love the :"safety from every view point " statement ......
Actually they are very versatile and can be worn while riding your motorcycle too .......


B&L of CinemaScope and ray-ban fame were,just like any other company at the time ,involved in the war effort.Rosie the riveter could not risk an injury to her beautiful eyes while helping the boys to kick some nazi butt right !?? if like me you're into workwear, this modest post will speak to you for sure .enjoy .........

Monday, March 29, 2010

Johnny Faire - Bertha Lou

WW2 US NAVY CANVAS DECK SHOES

Part of the content of a regulation US NAVY seabag:the hard to find canvas deck shoes.here's is a dead stock example.good luck up grading this one !!.....
Two in one i must say .......
Always great when able to read the actual contract #.....

According to the company's history ,the first top sider was designed in 1935 by Paul Sperry,who's older brother was the illustrator Armstrong Sperry. As an avid boater,Paul,like most boaters, complained about the slippery deck of his boat.Sperry had tried without success,first, to design a shoe that would provide improved traction while on the deck "fighting" the elements. His successful design then came with a pattern inspired by the grooves or cracks on his dog's feet.He combined a leather upper-shoe with a herringbone pattern of grooves on the sole. The cutting of grooves in the sole of the Top-Sider was an implementation of a process of splitting or siping a shoe sole invented and patented in the 1920s by John Sipe.
Sperry's shoe quickly became popular with boaters not only for its non-slip sole. The shoe remained a niche product until 1939 when the U.S. Navy negotiated the right to manufacture canvas shoes using sperry's special sole for its sailors. As a result of the Navy contract, Sperry's business was purchased by the U.S. Rubber Co., which then marketed the shoe across the country.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jimmy Wages - Mad Man

Monday, March 22, 2010

THE GREAT GOKEY...40's snakeproof boots

The original dating back to the late 1800's:"la botte sauvage"a French Canadian explorer's favorite....
The rare knee high, made to order snake proof Gokey boots,most likely from the 40's....
10 stitches to an inch is the secret.The Gokeys were just outstanding. Made in conformity to a tracing of each of your feet, they fit like the proverbial glove. Gorgeous, supple, super heavy real oil-tanned leather, with doe skin lining.Attested to by countless guides and professional snake hunters to be the best.....

Love the beautiful patina and the deco styled buckle.....

From time to time when in my closet for an early "spring cleaning session",i'll come across an old pair of boots.No matter the issue of the day might be, I pause to look them over, maybe even drag them out to dust them off. And the memories flood back...
Today's pick my old pair of Gokey snake proof boots,they were modeled after the French-Canadian footwear called "botte sauvage" the wild boot, worn by the early voyageurs who explored the Great Lakes region.
I later learned that the Gokey Boot Company, was founded by Noah Gokey in Addison NY and operated for many years in Jamestown NY before finally relocating to St. Paul MN at the turn of the century. World renown, they used the "cottage industry" system: orders would come into St. Paul, MN and the work would be farmed out to skilled cobblers.Gokey was sold to Orvis back in the 90's but nothing beats the old ones .It has been reported that some pairs have been handed down from one generation to another.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

THE PACIFIC: WW2 USMC 41 HBT JACKET

The front of the jacket with its crude EGA [eagle,globe & anchor] stencil .Love the stripes with a double applied paint .....
The amazing back with a great and unusual gothic font.......



After seeing the 1st episode of "THE PACIFIC" ,the new series from the Hanks/Spielberg team of "BOB" fame , i've decided to dig in my collection and showcase my favorite M41[ early sage green] USMC HBT jacket for your enjoyment . over the year i've seen my share of tactical markings ,stenciled names and so on ... but i must admit this one tops them all.........

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

WW2 US NAVY roughout ankle boots

The crew of a construction battalion aka "SEABEES" wearing their weathered ankle boots on their way to Normandy......
A never issued pair .The USN NXSX marking places them around 1944......
The rubber and cord sole is different in design from the WW2 USMC "boondocker" .....

A real USN marked pair of roughout ankle boots,although similar in appearance to their widely manufactured USMC counterpart [aka "boondocker"],are one of the hardest item to find when you're a collector. They look sharper,as they don't have a reinforced toe and should not be confused with the army M43 riveted model,popular with Japanese vintage enthusiasts for it's the one worn by the Steve Mc Queen in "the great escape"....

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

THE REAL DEAL... the WW2 watch cap & 30's cpo shirt

Nice WW2 picture of a crew in the pacific theatre. Almost everything is there...N1,N4,denim shore jacket and pants,white t-shirt and the very desirable watch cap.......
The rare 1930's CPO shirt/jacket ........
Gone fishing....The one and only WW2 watch cap.Be very careful while shopping on ebay,i've seen a bunch of fake tags on 60's caps lately......
This is what you should be looking for on ww2 navy knitwear.......


As much i love Buzz Rickson and their breathtaking repros,i must advise the new comer in the Navy collecting field,to be cautious before taking Rickson's prose as " the word of God".A little research will pay and prove you they're not always right,when reproducing some of the more iconic pieces of vintage. I was a little disappointed when looking at some of their new items .The ww2 watch cap is beautiful .It has the perfect wool color,density,weave and number of seams [6 on top]but has it's most visible feature ,the white tag ,WRONG .In fact all of Navy's knitwear had the same white cotton tag ,with only 2 printed lines:one for the owner's name the other for it's rate.You'll find the same tag on the knitted sweater and mittens too.I guess the foul anchor sales better.As for their 1930's CPO[chief petty officer] shirt ,not all of them had a scalloped flap over the single breast's pocket .In fact there were multiple variations of the single pocket shirt/jacket.I've even seen one without flap.