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Original Contract A-2s
Base price: £675.00
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THE P. GOLDSMITH AC 31-1897 THE FIRST TYPE A-2

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THE GOLDSMITH AC Order 31-1897 THE FIRST TYPE A-2

COLLECTOR’S ITEM

LIMITED EDITION OF 25 (Same as the original contract)

EVERY ORIGINAL DETAIL RELICATED

HOOKLESS ZIPPER

NEVER PREVIOUSLY REPLICATED

For many years even the most well informed US Military collectors were unaware of the very first A-2 contract, AC Order No 31-1897 awarded to The P. Goldsmith Sons Company of Cincinnati, Ohio who were rather an odd choice as they were essentially a Baseball Glove Manufacturer, certainly they had never made leather jackets prior to landing this initial AC Contract.

Now documentation proving this contract existed has come to light, the search was on for a jacket or for further photographic evidence, it didn’t help that here were only 25 of these made and it’s very doubtful if any still exist but several photos of Hap Arnold wearing one of these first A-2s have recently emerged including one with the legendary Mary Pickford at The National Air Races, Los Angeles in July 1933.

The fact that such a senior Air Corp officer has been photographed wearing one on several important occasions rules out the possibility of the jacket being a “private purchase” and the fact that there are several features not seen on any other A-2 leaves no other alternative other than that the jacket he’s wearing is a 31-1897.

Despite the minor changes during the evolution of the Type A-2 this first contract laid down the basic design that remained in use until the introduction of the B-10, a decision co-incidentally made by none other than Hap Arnold himself in 1943

The unique features of contract 31-1897 include a tab collar which buttons under other side of the collar, this is the only A-2 ever issued without studs under the collar, there is a pencil pocket on the RH pocket and a double row of top stitching on the pockets and pocket flaps while the epaulettes are fitted over the shoulder seam to hide the seam. The top stitch on body/sleeve join goes under the epaulette and the box stitch is added afterwards. The collar stand is wider than on any other A-2 and the neck hook is a narrow black metal hook also unique to this contract

As well as these unique features there are some that are found on other early contracts such as top stitch on cuffs and waistband, the piped button holes on the pocket flaps and the Hookless zipper fitting technique.

We’ve replicated every detail that can be confirmed from the photographs available, we’ve used our experience gained from working with the A-2 over many decades to come to an educated conclusion as to one or two fine details used in 1931. We know how AC jackets on either side of this contract were labelled and the style of labelling so the design and layout of the labelling is virtually certain to be correct. We can’t be 100% sure about the exact design of the Goldsmith label that would have been fitted back in 1931 but there is an extensive library of their labels from either side of that date available online. We’ve taken the most commonly used logo and had it woven to match the AC label and Size tag. The shade of the lining is also subjective but, as best as could be judged from B&W pics, looks to be a mid brown so we’ve chosen the rust brown that was used fairly extensively in A-2s made prior to WW2

We've used Battered Steerhide from our version, the leather has the ideal look for a jacket of this age and the drape suits the cut better than a slightly stiffer horsehide would. Other leathers may be available.

Standard size range is 34" to 48" inclusive, other sizes may be available by special order.

Please note, due to the current demand for our Type A-2 jackets the wait time we're currently aiming for is 10-12 weeks.