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A.E.F. Jerkins 1917 to 1919

world war I nerd

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world war I nerd

Thanks! Those are amazing shots. Love the WW I motorcycle photos. I currently have around 30 of them. Simon, the three you posted are some of the best though. Thanks again.

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Thanks! Those are amazing shots. Love the WW I motorcycle photos. I currently have around 30 of them. Simon, the three you posted are some of the best though. Thanks again.

Trying to send you a PM.....mailbox full?

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  • 1 year later...

I have been collecting data for a new book project and came across your post.  It's been years since I have been on this site, so bear with me. This is the list of known Leather Jerkin Contractors for the US Leather Jerkin (one of the specification number I have found is Specification 1298 dated January 6, 1918 )  The list is not complete - those without contract numbers have the date which the contract was published - not necessarily the date it was signed and sometimes all I did was note the year.  The known number of jerkins contracted  for is is at the end of the line.

                    A. J. Bates & Company

                              1534    1917            8/10/1917 Webster MA

                              1386    1918            3/22/1918 Webster MA

                              2938    1918             5/9/1918 Webster MA

                              5078    1918            9/16/1918 Webster MA

                    A. Pritzker

                               896    1917            9/27/1917 Boston MA

                    Acme Glove Works LTD

                              1756    1918            4/11/1918 Montreal CAN

                              1851    1918            4/15/1918 Montreal CAN

                    Alfred L. Bernheim

                              1367    1917           10/16/1917 New York NY     30,000

                              2019    1917            11/5/1917 New York NY      25,000

                    Amity Leather Products Company

                              5988    1918            9/13/1918 West Bend WI

                    B. Greenwald Company

                              1666    1918             4/5/1918 Boston MA

                              5069    1918            8/27/1918 Boston MA

                    Borman Sheep-lined Coat Company

                              1112    1917            9/27/1917 New York NY      63,000

                              1464    1917           10/20/1917 New York NY     50,000

                              1377    1918            3/21/1918 New York NY

                              5080    1918            9/10/1918 New York NY

                    Boston Overall Company

                              1381    1918            3/21/1918 Boston MA

                              5075    1918             9/5/1918 Boston MA

                              5073    1918            9/13/1918 Boston MA


                    Cohen Brothers Company

                                         1918            8/20/1918 Milwaukee WI

                    Edward Goldman & Company

                              1667    1918             4/5/1918 Boston MA

                              2937    1918             5/9/1918 Boston MA

                              5071    1918            8/28/1918 Boston MA

                    Evans & Company

                                         1918             9/9/1918 Oshkosh WI

                    F. B. Q. Clothing Company

                              5079    1918             9/11/1918  New York NY      160,000

                    Fuller & Sullivan Company

                              1380    1918            3/21/1918 Boston MA

                                           1918            8/27/1918 Boston MA

                              5074    1918            9/10/1918 Boston MA

                    Gordon & Ferguson

                                      1918             9/7/1918 St. Paul MN

                    Guiterman Brothers

                                         1918            3/19/1918 St. Paul MN

                                         1918             5/1/1918 St. Paul MN

                              5082    1918            10/4/1918 St. Paul MN

                    International Duplex Coat Company

                              2936    1918            5/11/1918 New York NY       100,000

                              5081    1918            9/10/1918 New York NY       160,000


                    J. B. Pearson & Company

                               897    1917            9/27/1917 Boston MA

                              1379    1918            3/21/1918 Boston MA

                              5072    1918            8/27/1918 Boston MA

                    J. Goldman & Company

                                      1918             9/7/1918 Boston MA

                    Julius C. Bernheim

                              1374    1918            3/21/1918 Utica NY                 205,000

                              3662    1918            5/24/1918 New York NY         40,000

                    Knopf Mfg Company, The

                              1665    1918             4/5/1918 Boston MA

                              3271    1918            5/17/1918 Boston MA

                              5077    1918            9/10/1918 Boston MA

                    Leather Apparel Mfg. Company Inc.

                              5062    1918            6/27/1918 New York NY          130,000

                    Lyons Mfg. Company

                              1852    1918            4/15/1918 Boston MA                               

                              6171    1918            9/13/1918 Framingham MA        20,000

                    M. J. Collins

                              1382    1918            3/21/1918 Boston MA

                              5070    1918            9/19/1918 Boston MA

                    Milwaukee Tanning & Clothing Company

                              5956    1918            9/12/1918 Milwaukee WI

                    Moe Solomon & Company

                              1375    1918            3/21/1918 New York NY              120,000

                              2956    1918            5/11/1918 New York NY

                    Monarch Mfg. Company

                              1085    1917            9/26/1917 Milwaukee WI

                              1463    1917           10/20/1917 Milwaukee WI

                              1290    1918            3/18/1918 Milwaukee WI

                              1388    1918            3/22/1918 Milwaukee WI

                                          1918            4/30/1918 Milwaukee WI

                                          1918             5/1/1918 Milwaukee WI

                              5954    1918            9/12/1918 Milwaukee WI

                    Northern Fur Coat Company

                              6219    1918            9/17/1918 Minneapolis MN

                    R. Greenwald Company

                                      1918             4/6/1918

                    Robitshek Company

                                      1918             9/7/1918 Minneapolis MN

                    Rosenwasser Brothers

                              1465    1917           10/20/1917 Long Island NY             75,000

                              1376    1918            3/21/1918 Long Island NY              120,000

                    Simon Coat Company

                              1378    1918            3/21/1918 Boston MA

                    Wyman, Partridge & Company

                              6086    1918            9/13/1918 Minneapolis MN


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Also found this Specification (not numbered) printed as part of a bid request by the War Department (closing on October 30, 1918)  I transcribed it for easier reading.


Specifications for Jerkins

(Adopted October 1918, in lieu of Specifications 1298, of January 16th, 1918, hereby cancelled)




To be Sheepskin or Lambskin, brown color, medium weight, of quality equal to the sealed standard sample Jerkin, the finished garment to show only sound leather. The various pieces of leather in any one garment to be as nearly equal in color and weight as is consistent with ordinary commercial practice in the manufacture of leather garments.



Woven woolen melton, kersey or mackinaw cloth, not less than 26 ounces or more than 32 ounces to the lineal yard of 54 inch width, and to be thoroughly shrunk .' Olive drab or color as approved by the Quartermaster Corps.


Stay Pieces

To be silesia, or similar material (quality to be submitted for approval).



For all stitching -first grade No. 24-3 cord or No. 30-4 cord cotton having a tensile strength of 712 pounds. Color approximately the same as that of leather. Gimp - No. 8. Buttonhole thread same color as thread -used for stitching - N0. A - 3 cord mercerized cotton, tensile strength 71 pounds. For sewing on buttons -0. D. or black cotton No. 20-4 cord, not less than 12 pounds tensile strength.




Working patterns for leather and linings to be made by the contractor from standard patterns for linings furnished by the Quartermaster Corps. Cutting patterns for the leather will be made by contractor in such manner that the leather in the finished garment will fit the linings smoothly and without wrinkles. Standard patterns as furnished by the Quartermaster Corps will not be altered in any way. Cutting of Leather Patterns for leather to be so laid on the skins that the front edges of the fore parts of the garment are cut from solid firm leather, either center of the back of pelt or across the butt of pelt, Each of the two fronts of the garment may be made of either one, two or three separate pieces of leather. Where the fronts of the garments are pieced, piecing to be symmetrical. Any piecing of the fronts must be at the bottom and be not wider than 8 inches finished measuring up from the bottom of the garment. The back of the garment may be pieced of as many as eight pieces of leather. If backs are less than eight pieces, the larger pieces must be at the top and smaller pieces at the bottom. All pieces must be approximately rectangular in shape, allowing fully 3/8 inches all around for seams. Leather arm scye reinforcements to be stitched over lining at the lower side of the arm scye, centered on the side seam of the garment, reinforcements cut in crescent shape, extending not less than 142 inches on each side of the center seam, and to be 14 inches deep when finished.



To be cut from patterns furnished by the Quartermaster Corps, patterns laid, and cloth cut to take the best advantage of the yardage. It is permissible to cut linings with a center seam in the back of garment or to cut the lining in the back of garment in one-piece, whichever way will take best advantage of the material yardage. Skimping of patterns strictly prohibited.


Stay for Buttons and Button Holes

Strip of cloth 3 inches wide, of Silesia, or otherwise, as indicated above, to be stitched between lining and leather from the neck to the bottom of the garment, one edge stitched into the front seam of the garment, back edge free. No part of this reinforcement to show in the finished garment. This reinforcement on each side of front of garment.


Spacing of Buttons and Button Holes

The garment to have four buttons and four button holes, spaced as follows : Top button 1 inch from the neck, lower but ton 11 inches from the bottom , remaining two buttons spaced proportionately between  Button holes placed correspondingly so that garments will button symmetrically. Buttons on right side of garment, button holes on left side.



0. D. Color, vegetable ivory, 36 ligne, having four holes smoothly rimmed . Buttons to be sewed on by hand or machine, placed 14 inches from front edge of garment. Not less than eight stitches through each hole. 0. D. or black cotton No. 20-4 cord thread. Each button to be sewed on firmly, ends of thread well fastened.


Button Holes

The eye to be not less than 12 inch nor more than % inch from front edge of the garment but equally spaced on any one garment. not more than 142 inches. To be worked over No. 8 Gimp with No. A- 3 cord mercerized cotton. Gimp will be used on both the leather side and the cloth side of button hole. All button boles to be neatly and securely bar tacked or cross tacked at ends.



Vertical and shoulder lining seams shall be plain stitched, then lapped and single stitched 14 inch from fold. Leather shall be plain stitched, then lapped and single stitched 18 inch from fold, edges of garment and arm scye to be stitched on the inside, then turned and single stitched on the outside 44 inch from the edge. Arm scye reinforcement to be turned in at armscye and stitched through, and to be raw edge at bottom and stitched flat to linings. All stitching must be executed with a lock stitch machine, not less than seven nor more than ten stitches to the inch, except as to buttonholes in which case not less than 12 stitches nor more than 16 stitches to the inch may be taken.



Jerkins shall be clean, well made, and show no defective stitches in any part of the garment. Lining must fit the leather smoothly without bagging.


Size Tickets and Marking

A standard label cloth ticket will be sewn to, the lining at the back of the neck, printed with the name of the contractor at the top, specification number, date of contract, number of contract, Depot of delivery, and the word " Inspector " with space for writing or stamping in inspector's name. At the bottom of the same ticket should appear the size and breast measure size of the garment, in letters not less than 14 inches high, in this manner Size 2–38.


Schedule of Sizes and Measurements

Sizes                               A                 B                 C                 D                 E

1 – 36”                           5                  41               46               27               29-1/2

2 – 38”                           10               43               49               27-1/2        30

3 – 40”                           25               45               52               28               30-1/2

4 – 42”                           25               47               55               28-1/2        31

5 – 44”                           25               49               58               29               31-1/2

6 – 46”                           10               51               61               29-1/2        32


A=               Tariff per 100 garments

B=               Measurement around garment at bottom of the arms seye from edge to edge

C=               Bottom sweep all around

D=               Length of front edge at each side

E=               Length center of back


A variation of 1/2 inch in any of the above measurements is permissible.

In all points not covered by these specifications to be like and equal to the sealed standard sample jerkin in all respects.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Concerning the oilskin Jerkin that was made by the Borman Sheep-lined Coat Company.  The contract number is indeed 1112, and there were at least three other firms that received contracts for Jerkins on the same day - A. Pritzer of Boston MA (Contract 896 B) J. B. Pearson & Company (Contract 897 B), and Monarch Mfg. Company (Contract 1085)

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  • 2 months later...

While researching my Great-uncle's unit, the 2nd AA MG Bn., a chronological daily diary noted just before The Meuse-Argonne Offensive began: "SEPT 1 -Enfield rifles are issued, cleaned, and inspected; SEPT 7 -Overcoats are issued; SEPT 23 -Trucks and motorcycles arrive; jerkins are issued."  

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Came across a few post-war images of the Meuse-Argonne Cemetery being undertaken. A few of the men are wearing jerkins during that time in the early 1920's:


Jerkin 247548474_5091182677576722_7854234311781025053_n (2).jpg

Jerkin 247299314_5091182727576717_1260973653233319871_n.png

Jerkin 247599890_5091182667576723_3699385214210461645_n.jpg

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