James Watson Gieve took over the already flourishing Portsmouth based tailoring business in 1888 following the death of his father James Gieve. Over the next ten years the company became the primary supplier to Royal Navy officers of uniforms and accoutrements. One of the most interesting items we have come across in a while is this seemingly simple at first glance Royal Navy officers waistcoat. However J.W. Gieve infact first patented the design for this innovative invention in 1915. May we present “The Life Saving Waistcoat”.
Credit where credit is due, it’s down to the beady eyes of Dave Carroll from La Rocka, who spotted the striking similarity of this mid-century American tux with one worn by John Lydon on the Sex Pistols 1977 Swedish tour. Both jackets are cut from a yellow silk damask fabric with black silk revers, and turn back cuffs. Lydon’s undoubtedly an original 50s one also, has been modified by being crudely cropped in half, turning it into an almost razored bolero.
This beautiful piece of camping/hiking/outdoorsman history was first patented in 1882 by C.Poirier. In context, the Duluth “Poirier Pack Sack” can be seen as the Great-Great-Granddaddy of modern day backpacks…
Camille Poirier a French Canadian, first moved to Duluth Minnesota in 1870. A location that should be familiar to all Fargo fans. Initially setting up a small leather workshop making straps, shoes and boots. In 1911 Camille Poirier sold off his company to the Duluth Tent & Awning Co., after which time the bags were called Duluth Packs.
The Duluth pack was designed in order to carry maximum capacity. According to the original patent filed by Poirier – patent no 268,932, he “invented a new and improved Pack-Strap for holding and packing articles of clothing, provisions, and other articles which are to be carried in a package on the back. The invention consists in a bag formed with a flap and provided with shoulder straps and head-strap for supporting and carrying the bag on the back.”
The invention of the “tumpline” strap, a strap that attached at both ends to a backpack which wrapped around the wearers forehead (see illustration), greatly reduced the weight to the wearers back. Unfortunately not found with this pack.
Monsieur Camille Poirier we salute you c’est formidable!
1951 dated Sealed Pattern woman’s P.T. top in the imaginatively named lichen green ‘aertex’ breathable cotton fabric. Let’s face it even Farrow & Ball would have a hard time trying to re-name this particular shade of green. All is as should be, the sample is replete with Standard Pattern tags, specification label, stores refs., wax seal etc.
Small is beautiful, but it’s also a good excuse to try out our new macro lens, hoping to pick up the minutiae of detail otherwise lost to the human eye. First up is a collection of crowns, all bullion hand embroidered in wire thread and velvet, on military broadcloth backings. These all happen to be Queen’s crowns, not the more angular King’s crown found for instance on the Air Ministry stamps of WWII when King George VI was on the throne.
The fineness of stitch and complexity of the design can only be fully appreciated ‘up close’ and makes you realise the skill involved, especially when considering they were hand-sewn probably in a dark basement somewhere just off Savile Row.
In 1837 Augustus Siebe, German born but living in England, developed a Diving Helmet which sealed airtight to a rubber suit. The closed suit connected to an air pump on the surface and thus became the first effective standard diving wear of its time. Rewarding Siebe with the moniker “father of deep sea diving”.
Founded by Augustus Siebe and his son in law Gorman, Siebe Gorman and Co. were a British company that developed diving and breathing equipment designed for commercial diving and marine salvage projects. The Augustus Siebe helmet gained a reputation for safety during its use on the wreck of the Royal George in 1840. The combination of safety and design features became the standard for helmet construction throughout the world, some of which were incorporated into the design of modern-day space suits.
Slightly obsessed with these first generation of deep sea divers – in our minds every bit as courageous as those later men and women that would take on the challenge of Space Travel. It was with great pleasure that a recent buying trip to France uncovered this fine collection of diving wear. Dealing with the bends, poor visibility, restricted movement and the fear of unknown sea monsters and giant squid – the experience of the sheer claustrophobia of a 19th century diving suit was in some small way improved by the matching Submariner knit, scarf, long johns and sea socks – all bearing the Siebe Gorman helmet logo.