Re: The Search for A-2

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Posted by Max Schulte from on May 11, 1998 at 06:02:29:

In Reply to: Re: The Search for A-2 posted by Cap'n Paul on May 11, 1998 at 04:41:36:

: : : Michealson, may I just ask one thing concerning the A-2: Is yours made
: : : of cowhide? It has probably nothing to do with Indy stuff but I'm just
: : : curious about that. You probably know that the 'original' (the ones
: : : used in WWII) was made of horse leather. However, this was stopped in
: : : the 1950s and cowhide was used. I was desperately looking for a jacket
: : : made of horsehide but could not find a firm which still made em. I
: : : actually found one but the jackets were immensely expensive and you
: : : had to wait were long (they had some kind os waiting list there).
: : : Anyway, I bought the cowhide version as an act of desperation.
: : : ...I'm just interested if you bought the cowhide as well...

: : : Thanks,

: : : -Max

: : Just good old cow hide, 1979 contract date. There are still many companies out there that make horsehide A2's, according to my "Aviation History" magazines I receive every month. If you want me to, email me directly, and I'll look up the companies names and give them to you. Regards. Michaelson

: : The original A-2 during WWII was made by Willis and Geiger. It was constructed of horsehide initially because agrarian America was in rapid transition from horse-drawn everything to the automobile/truck/tractor. Horsehide was in plentiful supply due to this transition. Willis and Geiger are still in business. They have been making clothing and jackets for such people as Teddy Roosevelt and Ernest Hemingway when they traveled to Africa on their hunting safaris. And they still make the Original A-2. I don't mean a copy, I mean the real, A-2. W&G still puts the original War Department contract numbers sewn into the lining. One U.S. Air Force squadron actually pools their money together to get this jacket for their pilots instead of the cheapo copy made by the current contractor. (Remember, the gov't always goes with the lowest bidder. You get what you pay for.) I bought my Dad one for his birthday. It's thick and heavy, just like you'd expect it to be. -CP

OK, W&G still make the loriginal jacket. Do they still use horsehide
or do they produce the cowhide version. That's an important point
because nowadays horsehide has become relatively rare/expensive.
The discussion about the A-2 made me get my old jacket out of the
closet. I got it from an English firm. The label shows the USAAF emblem
and the address of the firm. Unfortunately it is not the original...
Anyway, I found out something really interesting: The jacket has the
same zipper as the Indy jacket. A 'YKK' zipper no. 8 (I think this is
the size).



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