Vintage Beck 3/4 Helmet

2 May

Rare old Beck 3/4 helmet. The Beck Distribution Corp was a pioneer in motorcycle distributing sourcing oem and aftermarket parts and accessories for foreign bikes and to suit American rider’s tastes. The company dates all the way back to the early 1900’s. I would say this helmet here is from the early-mid 1960s, but have yet to track down an exact date or model number. Vintage American Motorcyclist Magazines currently on Google Books for viewing give hints the popularity of this three-quarter style and the Beck Corp during those early 60s. In 1969 Beck Distribution Corp merged with Arnley Brake Shoe Company and the name and logo were changed to reflect that. So, if anything this helmet is at least pre 1969.

An interesting thing on this helmet is in the liner and foam core. The dense foam core is constructed of two halves instead of a single piece. Also the liner that once held the soft comfort foam is made of a nylon material, which gives the helmet interior a nice sort of satin-y finish, but wouldn’t be very breathable or moisture wicking. It’s evident that later safety improvements replaced some of these designs quirks.
Has reflective squares on sides and back which seem to be common additions to other helmets of the era, A lone sticker inside shows the size as S 6 3/4″ and Made in Japan. One theory I have given Beck’s business model is the helmet was produced by Arai and then stickered Beck by the distributor, but at this time that remains just a theory.

Early Winters Silver Lining Insulated Jacket

21 Mar

Decades before Columbia Sportswear’s Omni-heat, Early Winters produced the Silver Lining. A Mylar like lining which reflected body heat, encased in a nylon shell. This piece was truly ahead of its time, as many of Early Winter’s products were. The Seattle-based manufacturer was the first company to use Gore-Tex fabric for commercial purposes in tents and jackets. Early Winters was at the forefront of outdoor innovation with iconic products like the Omnipotent and Pocket Hotel Tents and loads of co-branded products from candle lanterns to knifes to walking sticks.

This particular jacket is constructed of a nylon shell with horizontal quilting stitches. Nice lines around the shoulders give it a much more modern appearance and reduce seems along the shoulders. Zip and snap closure down the front. Wide wrists with Velcro closure. About a two-inch collar and elastic around the bottom hem. This piece is dual purpose and can be worn as an outer layer or insulating layer beneath a parka. Inside is a white mesh lining over the reflective silver lining. the two integrated hand pockets make for internal pockets as well.

Vintage Work Hunting Boots. Unknown Maker. Goodyear Lugged Sole

3 Mar

Very cool old boots, unfortunately I don’t know who made em. Quality on par with any Danner or Red Wing make or model. 7.5 in high shaft. Unique vamp construction minimizes seems. Eyelet and hook lace up. Goodyear lugged soles the America equivalent of Vibram. Lined uppers and thick felted wool insoles suggest they were intended for colder weather use.

Early-mid 70s Sierra Designs 60/40 Mountain Parka

1 Mar

The original 60/40 mountain parka by Sierra Designs. Constructed of the fabric famed for its day as the superior protector against the elements. In a time before Gore-Tex and other such membrane backed fabrics, this blend of Nylon and Cotton loomed with a tight weave was the number one choice of outdoor enthusiast against rain, snow and wind. Prior to its introduction in 1968 most parkas of this style were made of a Polyester and Cotton blend which was much more permeable to the elements. This particular example is an earlier version evident by the sparse labeling and lack of embossed buttons.

The parka is constructed of a Navy Blue shell made entirely of the 60/40 material. The classic construction includes two hip pockets with side entry and Velcro closed top entry. Two bellowed chest pockets also with Velcro closure. A single zip closed back pocket which opens up to the entire upper half of the jacket body. Closure consists of a large gauge YKK zipper with extended pull for ease of use while wearing gloves. Also a snap close-storm flap. Features an integrated hood with offset seams to prevent pooling around the neck and shoulders. Inside the khaki liner is made from 60/40 up top and through out the sleeves and hood to further guard against the elements where it matters most. Then a lighter nylon lighter around the lower allowing the jacket to slide easily over the hips. Nylon cord cinch runs through the hood with leather lace locks. Also a Nylon draw cord at the waist which most likely also had the leather locks at some point, but are now missing.

 

Vintage levis Big E 501 Repairs

21 Jan

A while back I happened upon a pile of disheveled denim. The markings on the two pair of Levis 501s, a pair of 505s, Penny’s Foremost and Lee Riders dated them to the 1960s. The Lee’s in relatively good shape I sold off almost immediately. The others needing significant repair I held on to knowing at some point I’d have them repaired. Fast forward a few years, I pulled the stack of denim from the closet and studied. Such denim deserved a second life at the hands of a skilled professional, or did it? Having come across jeans that had been lovingly repaired and myself, and having been raised by a mother that sewed and mended many of my childhood clothing, I knew it wasn’t really a question of professionalism, but of utility and resourcefulness. I set out to do what any other mother or miserly person of the day would do and fix them myself.

vintage levis 501 Big E repair

vintage levis 501 Big E repairAgain going back to my childhood, I had learned the ins and outs of a sewing machine at a relatively young age. I can thread one properly and work the stitch settings well enough. I chose a pair of the 501s and set about. Now, I’ve patched items regularly over the years, but these were in need more of a reconstruction! I planned for a few minutes and got to work.

Among the pile of denim I found was a leg piece of red line selvedge I would use as my patch. The jeans in question must have been washed after the incident that left them in their dire shape as the fabric was unraveling. I paused, contemplating whether to preserve the tattered edge or clean it off. I opted for the later (which in hind sight, I somewhat regret). After trimming the long weft strings I cut my patch. Pinning it in place would have taken a lot of time and ensuring the two sides lay as they should considering the loss of fabric would have been difficult. I opted to use some fabric glue to make the initial bonding. Also in consideration was to patch the outside or from within. Given the size and severity of the mend I chose an inside patch.

vintage levis 501 Big E repairThe nature of this break, extending around the leg and up through the crotch made for a challenging fix. I knew early on it wouldn’t be clean, but just figured it would create character.

After allowing for the patches along the back of the leg and crotch to set I made a few additional pinnings and set about sewing. First with a straight stitch to get them in place, then with a series of zig-zag stitches for strength. It was a technique I learned from my mom long before seeing many other pieces repaired in the same way. Rather than try to exactly thread match the denim in color I chose to use some color to personalize my repair.
vintage levis 501 Big E repairTo finish this fix off I grabbed the closest color match I had to the original Big E yellow thread and sewed a stitch a around the patch, followed by some big zig-zags with some olive green just for fun.

I know with wear this mend will need additional attention and It’s something I look forward to completing. Adding to these nearly 50 year-old jeans history.

vintage levis 501 Big E repairvintage levis 501 Big E repair

Vintage 1960s Motorcycle Patrol Jacket ~size 42~ Cal Leathers Style

17 Jan

This thick black heavy leather patrolman’s jacket is perfect for those who ride. Unfortunately this jacket has no labels or tags to help define its history, but I can assure you it’s the real deal. Badge holder, Serval zippers, heavy weight leather. It would be really easy for me to say this jacket is horsehide, which I very well might be, but with out a tag to prove it, I’ll stop short of that claim. I don’t have the expertise to say for certain. I have some jackets in my collection marked horsehide and others that are not and depending on the tanning process they can be very similar.

This jacket has a nice black satin liner in near perfect shape. Two had pockets and one inside pocket both lined with heavy cotton. Side lacing for a custom waist fit. Interestingly it is void of belt loops around the waist. Has snaps for a fur collar mount and black shearling lining the zippered wrists to keep the cold out.

Really nice shape for its age. a couple off-black spots near the badge holder. Visible if you’re looking for them. Also a little wear around the insides of the cuffs.

No size tag, but measures out to about a 42. See measurements below.

24″ pit to pit (sides flare out in the pits)
21″ across below the pit
20″ shoulder to shoulder
18.5″ pit to cuff
25″ shoulder to cuff
20″ top of zip to hem
25″ collar to hem in back

available on etsy https://www.etsy.com/people/basecampvintage

California Sportswear ‘Californian’ Leather Motorcycle Patrol Jacket

13 Jan

Highway patrolman style jacket by California Sportswear Company of Los Angeles, CA. The jacket is cut from “Selected Steerhide” which is “California Chrome Tanned” All this according to the label. Tan job is exceptional. Nice sheen on this heavy leather.

Very similar in style to the California Highway Patrol jackets but is lacking snaps at the collar for a fur add-on as well as the zippered cuffs. Instead has button close cuffs and epaulets. Has snap close loops for a belt and lace up side gussets, which are missing laces. Has stitch holes on left breast where an emblem of some type was one sewn.  Talon zipper. Probably of a 60s vintage.

Brown Label Gregory Day Pack Backpacks

8 Oct

A couple older Gregory day pack backpacks. These packs feature many of the quality workmanship and design marks that made Gregory famous. One large main compartment with full arching YKK zipper. Smaller diagonal front zip pocket with YKK zippers. Original large leather pulls on all zips. All zips shielded by large storm flaps. Softer black nylon blend material makes up the bottom of the bag. Padded shoulder straps. Chest strap and waist strap with Fastex buckles.

I believe the orange, larger version is known as the “day and a half pack” a style that is currently being reproduced by Gregory.

Alpenlite Internal Frame backpack – Ventura, California

22 Sep

You are looking at a nice Alpenlite internal frame pack. Alpinlite, I believe originated in Claremont, California and plenty examples of earlier goods can be found bearing that city name under their mountainous logo. Based on this design and the city of Ventura, I would guess it’s a later label circa late 70s or 80s. Similar to some JanSport packs this Alpenlite maintains a day pack type look and feel, in a larger reinforced package.

This pack has an interesting ‘X’ braced frame structure and suspended strap rigging. Pack construction consists of one large main compartment, two side canister type pockets, one front pocket on the flap of the main compartment, and a small top pocket above the shoulder straps. I added the red lashings I had lying around and they will come with it. My guess is the original would have been yellow like that of the loop. It’s a little hard to tell in the photos but the bottom is khaki, loop is yellow which make for a nice color combo. Leather lashings top and bottom with the metal D rings on the front. padded waist strap as well.

 

 

Small Gerry Day Pack

9 Sep

Neat little late 70s early 80s Gerry day pack. Single main top zip compartment with leather pull-stays. Front zip bellowed compartment. Single contrasting blue seat belt webbing shoulder strap with gold nylon lower strap. Perfect for packing in your overnight bag for a day trip.

Measures about:
15″ high
11″ wide at bottom
7.5″ wide at top
5″ deep

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