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General Work Wear Research

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BlueTrain View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BlueTrain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2019 at 2:03pm
The stories about the early 20th century work shirts is fascinating. It is surprising that black sateen was one of the fabrics offered for work shirts.
 
Even quite early, army surplus uniforms, shirts especially, were being worn by workers and I have a photo (which I can't reproduce) of an uncle wearing both an army OD flannel shirt and breeches, worn with wrap leggings. Also, back when getting the Sears catalog was a major household event in the 1950s, I recall that Sears (and Wards and Penny's) had lots of work clothes and in different grades, too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iron Horse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Mar 2019 at 3:24pm
Thanks guys; BlueTrain, looking back through so many catalogs, photos, etc. has given me an itching to get a pair of breeches. Dunno if they’ll suit me though!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlueTrain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Mar 2019 at 3:09am
I mentioned somewhere else that I'd really like to find a pair of Filson breeches--in my size. I doubt they have made them since the 1940s, though. I have seen one pair years ago on eBay, which naturally weren't in my size. They weren't cheap, either. Curiously, I have seen a lot of heavy wool Woolrich breeches, all in that red plaid pattern.
 
I have tried on WWII army khaki breeches and they were much too tight through the knees, at least for "foot breeches." I probably wouldn't have the nerve to wear them in public anyway.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iron Horse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Mar 2019 at 7:20pm
Blue, the Filson ones were really nice; here's a pair that sold already over at Cocky Crew Store:

http://www.cockycrewstore.com/?pid=102498476#slider/0

I like how they're more tapered at the thighs than many riding or dual-purpose riding/working breeches were. That sort of officer/riding look is a bit too costumey for me to wear in public. Some of the Freewheelers breeches are also quite tapered/straight at the thighs and lack the billowiness. 




Edited by Iron Horse - 24 Mar 2019 at 7:57pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iron Horse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Apr 2019 at 8:54pm
The sequel to my previous blog post is up; this time focusing just on the 1930s:

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote killer b Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 2:11am
I've picked up some nice waxed cotton and wanted to make a jacket out of it - anyone got any idea where I'd get a pattern for a simple chore coat or french workers jacket type thing?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Apr 2019 at 6:17am
Originally posted by killer b killer b wrote:

I've picked up some nice waxed cotton and wanted to make a jacket out of it - anyone got any idea where I'd get a pattern for a simple chore coat or french workers jacket type thing?



Try searching "American Tailor and Cutter" in google books. Those issues have patterns in them. You may find a coat pattern.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlueTrain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2019 at 1:02pm
Thanks for posting the link to the Filson breeches. Riding breeches worn with boots around 1900 did not have that large flare that came into style sometime after WWI, although I think officer's breeches in WWI had more flare than the issue ones for the men. Civilian styles actually meant for riding were apparently quite wide in the thigh in the late 30s and 40s. But breeches were also commonly worn as work and outing garments during that period, usually narrower in the thigh. Today, of course, they have no flare at all.
 
Regarding the large number of manufacturers of work clothes in the past, somewhere I ran across a business directory for West Virginia from a long time ago (don't remember precisely), perhaps the teens or twenties. Again, there were a surprising number of woolen mills listed, with the number of employees given. Don't remember any garment factories but it's been a while since I saw that directory, which was reproduced in its entirety. But I think a similar directory from more recent years up through around 1990 would have been surprising, too. However, nearly all the businesses listed were fairly small.
 
I think I may have been trying to find information on the laundry and dry cleaning plant in my hometown, where my father worked. It was the second largest business in town with dozens of employees at one time. That was before wash and wear. The largest employer in town was the Virginian Railroad shops, which employed about 1,000 men and possibly three or four women. The operation was moved in the 1970s, which devastated the town.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BlueTrain Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2019 at 1:38pm
I found my reference for West Virginia businesses. It was published for the years 1919/1920. Child labor laws were just passed in 1919.
 
The state was surprisingly industrialized then, at least in places. The larges employers were railroads, followed by steel, glass, chemicals and probably lumber. There were still business making harnesses and saddles, ice, and gas lights and there were bottling plants everywhere. The report runs to 99 pages but half the report is a listing of businesses with violations in detail, including underage employees. Martinsburg had a large factory that made socks under the Interwoven brand, with about 1,000 employees in 1920. There were labor troubles in the 1930s and 1940s. The operation closed in 1976. And that was the end of that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (3) Thanks(3)   Quote bartlebyyphonics Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2019 at 2:43am
given the pruning of the vintage overall thread, wondering if best to put this here rather than start a new one...

a follow up to finding a nice denim oshkosh b'gosh strap-back pair last year (perhaps from 50s)...

[couple of pix here, with union tag of AFL - dating to pre-55 I realise]


... found what seems to be a fairly old hickory stripe vestbak... [in the back of a vintage store, they hadn't tagged / priced it yet, I whisked it out of there asap... smelt like it had been near some pretty nasty chemicals in its time...]

searching the internet seems pretty fruitless for dating it (vestbak as a term brings up the multitude of baby-wear the company has been concentrating on since the 90s...) but sharing it nonetheless...

the only dating factor I can think of is hardware and the union-made tag in the bag left pocket [which to my minimal knowledge places it between 1955 (when AFL and CIO merged) and when oshkosh stopped making adult clothes; some time in the 90s]; anyone have any idea about to look further on tags? finding some things on AFL-CIO tags but not specific to oshkosh...

anyway; pics, stitching, hardware, fit, etc. etc.



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