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A.E.F. Jerkins 1917 to 1919

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I'll take a better picture of the tag this evening. The contract date is very clearly Sept 26, 1917. The manufacturer, Borman Sheep Lined Coat Co., definitely had other contracts for leather jerkins. I'd like to look up this particular contract and see what the specifications were. The wool lining is very cheap rough material, I can't imagine these cost much to make when they were new. My feeling is that this was a very early attempt to make a jerkin that didn't use any leather in an effort to conserve it.

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Yd102- thank you for sharing pictures and information about the jerkin in your collection. I believe the museum I work for has the same one. The manufacturer matches and while I can't read the month due to wear, the day "26" and the year "1917" in ours matches.

 

Thank you for stating that yours is made of oil-cloth. Our records had incorrectly identified this one as being leather but after seeing your post I took a closer look and can definitely say ours is not leather. Ours appears to have metal buttons, how about yours?

 

Our jerkin was worn by a Major who served in the Medical Corps. He was overseas from March 1918-August 1919.

 

All of my images seem to be to large or I would upload some to share, perhaps I'll try again later.

 

 

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Hi and welcome to the forum!

 

 

We have a section with tips on posting photos: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/forum/24-photos-imaging/

 

And a forum member made a photo-resizer that can be found here: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/229816-custom-resize-tool-exclusively-for-the-usmf/

 

 

This is a very interesting jerkin, as yet I have been unable to locate any information about that particular contract. In March of 1918 the 'Borman Sheep Lined Coat Co.' shows up as having a contract for leather jerkins. Someplace there must be a record pertaining to the use of substitute materials for jerkins, but it hasn't been discovered that I know of. The closest I was able to find, was a mention of an "Other than leather" material used during the war by jerkin and vest manufacturers for the Civilian market. I'm sure there is a link someplace given the shortage of leather.

 

"The Official Bulletin" March 30, 1918.

TheOfficialBulletinMarch301.jpg

 

 

"Boot & Shoe" August 10, 1918.

jerkinaugust101918bootandsh.jpg

 

 

 


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

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Just to add, after the war the US Government charged the company with obtaining material that was property of the Quartermaster; it seems that the lining material was at issue. See "Borman et al. V. United States", Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. November 20, 1919.

 

Here are some excerpts, which imply that the company had only two contracts to furnish jerkins for the Army.

 

borman1.jpg

 

-----

 

borman2.jpg

 

-----

 

borman3.jpg

 

-----

 

borman4.jpg

 

 

 

It should be noted that in addition to the two above named contracts a third was issued in March 1918, which is referenced in the excerpt in post #53 from the Official US Bulletin. That brings it up to three known contracts awarded to Borman Sheep Lined Coat Co. An image of a contract label for the March 1918 contract is found in the top left of this post: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/257929-aef-jerkins-1917-to-1919/?p=2068040

 

The known contracts:

 

1112 - 9/27/1917, for 63,000 leather jerkins.

1464 - 10/29/1917, for 50,000 leather jerkins.

 

This is an interesting anomaly, since we have a 1919 document stating that the company was only contracted to supply a total of 113,000 jerkins, for which the same document accounts for in two 1917 contracts, and yet we have a 1918 contract with a number indicating it was actually awarded between 9/27/1917 and 10/29/1917 - but which clearly states on the label March 20, 1918.

 

1377 - 3/21/1918, for an unknown quantity of leather jerkins.


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif
donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Yd102- thank you for sharing pictures and information about the jerkin in your collection. I believe the museum I work for has the same one. The manufacturer matches and while I can't read the month due to wear, the day "26" and the year "1917" in ours matches.

 

Thank you for stating that yours is made of oil-cloth. Our records had incorrectly identified this one as being leather but after seeing your post I took a closer look and can definitely say ours is not leather. Ours appears to have metal buttons, how about yours?

 

Our jerkin was worn by a Major who served in the Medical Corps. He was overseas from March 1918-August 1919.

 

All of my images seem to be to large or I would upload some to share, perhaps I'll try again later.

 

 

 

Mine has black bakelite type buttons. It came from a 35th Division Supply Train guy. The cost to make this must have been absolutely minimal since it is black oil cloth and the lining is very cheap shoddy wool, almost like carpet padding. I can see that this would not have held up as well as a leather jerkin in use. I'm guessing that these came out early on, and probably wore out pretty quickly, hence their scarcity.

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My label has a contract date of 9/26/1917 and is contract number 1112.

 

 

Hi yd102.

 

Are the buttons the same as those seen in the middle of this posted image? http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/257929-aef-jerkins-1917-to-1919/?p=2068033


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif
donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Interesting information on the company, thanks for sharing.

 

I wonder if they were willing to steal lining from the government its not really a leap to think that they would be willing to pass off oil cloth jerkins instead of genuine leather.

 

Here are pictures of the buttons on our jerkin and also a detail of the surface around the button holes which clearly shows the material is not leather. Our manufacturer's label also gives contract # 1112.

 

 

post-174006-0-60825400-1511201361_thumb.jpg

post-174006-0-53639200-1511201383_thumb.jpg

post-174006-0-10612700-1511201414_thumb.jpg

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Hi,

 

 

Thank you for posting photos of your collection's jerkin. That is interesting. One thing I noticed off the bat is the difference in lining color from the example yd102 posted. Usually there is a level of variation, but that is not just a shade difference; it's an entirely different color of lining. One theory is that I know wool was in short supply in 1917, and it would not surprise me that they were unable to locate a quantity of olive drab wool. The button seems to be painted steel? Actually it looks like it is the kind that is like a big rivet (two halves of the button are pressed).

 

yd102, do you have the same buttons, or are yours sewn on?


"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

*Sherlock Holmes in "A Scandal in Bohemia"*

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gif
donation2016.gifdonation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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The exterior material is identical to the one that I have. My lining is very different, it looks almost like carpet padding. I wonder if Borman actually sold all of the government material and substituted with what ever cheap stuff they could fine?

 

My buttons are black bakelite and are sewn on.

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Yes the buttons on this jerkin are "riveted" and the lining is definitely not heavy at all it - appears to be what you would expect a lightweight blanket to be made out of. Yes, this company seemed to have some shady business practices so it is not unlikely that they tried whatever they thought they would get away with.

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An interesting photo of jerkins being issued to 5th Division doughboys immediately after the armistice. Note the plaid lining on the jerkins being held by the man on the right.

 

post-171351-0-03979700-1517971986_thumb.jpg

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Here's a neat shot of 34th Division Doughboys, two of whom have painted the 34th Division insignia onto the left breast of their leather jerkins.

 

Note that the right hand soldier in the front row is wearing a jerkin with plaid lining.

 

Photo courtesy of the Troy Morgan collection

post-5143-0-62387300-1518048508_thumb.jpg

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Based on the sheen of this Doughboys jerkin, I think that it might be made from oilskin, similar to the example posted earlier in this topic.

 

Compare the sheen on the possible oilskin jerkin to the leather jerkin worn by the soldier directly behind him, which has almost no sheen at all

post-5143-0-92049800-1542497038_thumb.jpg

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A few frames further into the newsreel footage of 92nd Division Doughboys, the alleged oilskin jerkin sheen versus no-sheen leather jerkin is pretty obvious in this screen save.

 

What do you all think … Oilskin or not?

post-5143-0-61453700-1542497361_thumb.jpg

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Hello! Thanks for this great post! I thought you all might be interested in seeing this AEF jerkin. The Doughboy used the back of the garment to record his entire service history. Just from correlating a few dates, its clear that he was a member of the 324th Field Artillery.

 

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42044561_10100273641438898_7122791759599

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42114565_10100273641239298_2782275961763

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41849009_10100273641349078_7329721961070

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Great topic, I have this pics from motorcycles Maintenance Dept at Le Mans in France during WWI.

 

Jerkins are personalized :

post-163321-0-24278900-1577096605_thumb.jpg

post-163321-0-55613200-1577096626_thumb.jpg

 

Simon.

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Simon, Wow! really cool monogrammed jerkins. Any thought as to what the three ("SBJ" - "ESJ" - "JSL") monograms represent?

 

Can you please post a scan of the entire photo? Images of individualized jerkins are quite rare. Thanks for adding it to this thread.

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Simon, Wow! really cool monogrammed jerkins. Any thought as to what the three ("SBJ" - "ESJ" - "JSL") monograms represent?

 

Can you please post a scan of the entire photo? Images of individualized jerkins are quite rare. Thanks for adding it to this thread.

 

It's a pleasure, this pictures are taken at Le Mans probably in 1919.

post-163321-0-71752900-1583514736_thumb.jpg

Simon.

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