Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘baseball’

Shawl Collar Cartography

July 11th, 2017

The Library of Congress flickr stream yields some of the best historic examples of shawl collar cardigans. During a periodic review, I surfaced these 1918 scans of baseball player Mike Donlin sporting a very heavy gauge cardigan with an unusual throat latch detail.  I’m not a baseball fan, but I can’t get enough of these Bain News Service photos of players and coaches from this very stylish era. The players dress like spectactors (in sweaters, blazers, leather shoes, and collared shirts) and the spectators are dressed for the symphony. I’d love to know more about about the knitwear makers who produced these athletic sweaters and the story behind that throat latch feature  (something that I never see on modern examples).

Archival Update: Chester Wallace, Columbiaknit, Individualized, Sunspel and Leatherhead Sports

June 29th, 2011

We’ve added some new summer weight clothing and archival accessories to the AC web shop.

Individualized madras shirts (popovers too)

Sunspel polos

Saint James Nemo all cotton nautical top

Columbiaknit long sleeve crews

AC x Chester Wallace tote with “old glory” red wax bottom

Shopping from the present: Cooperstown Ball Cap Co.

June 16th, 2011
Tom sporting the short brimmed 1927 Portland Beavers Cap

Last March I lamented the loss of the Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. To my relief, Cooperstown has resurfaced with a new focus on caps from minor league and non-professional leagues. Cooperstown Ballcap Co. manufactures reproduction caps from bygone eras using original methods and materials. These caps are made from a sturdy wool flannel and feature a soft leather sweatband, just like the originals. Sized for a true fit, with a 3 inch brim. Because of our Northwest heritage, we have reissued the following caps from the Pacific Coast League: the Portland Beavers (1927 & 1956) and Seattle Rainiers (1941 & 1956).

To order, visit the AC web shop.

Best quality wool flannel

Pacific Coast League caps from the original Cooperstown catalog

Archival Lament: Cooperstown Ball Cap Co.

March 18th, 2010

Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. print catalog covers (1994, 1999)

Sometimes I get so fixated on the past that I forget to mail order from the present. A quick web check on one of my favorite contemporary brands, Cooperstown Ball Cap Co., produced this depressing news:

Regrettably, after twenty-three years of making fine historic replica ball caps, Cooperstown Ball Cap Company has discontinued operations. Commercial, financial and legal difficulties; and the complexity of sewing one-of-a-kind caps in the U.S, make this decision inevitable. We thank all our customers for whom, over the years, we have been pleased to make a true vintage ball cap.

For reference, Cooperstown Ball Cap Co. manufactured custom caps for historical teams and individuals. One could order a cap in any historical style or in any combination of styles, logos or colors. The illustrated Cooperstown catalogs featured examples of nearly every known historical baseball team including company teams, military teams and even a hat from the Eastern Washington Hospital for the Mentally Insane. All caps were handmade from 13 oz. athletic flannel, horsehide leather bands and highest grade peak stiffeners. Whenever possible, caps were sewn on original machines in Cooperstown, NY.

Historical styles that influenced the modern baseball cap

For reference, I’m reprinting a few pages from two of my 1990s era catalogs. At some point, the company moved to an online ordering format. But I always loved the colorful illustrations, hand scripted captions, arcane keycode system and personal notations of these early catalogs.

Until the 1940s, caps lacked stiffening crowns. Most of the cap styles in the Cooperstown catalog were designed to be worn close to the head (a look I prefer to the current trend towards fully stiffened, high crown caps).
Choose your Brooklyn style cap: standard, pinstripe, peak band, cap band, 3 color braid or soutache?

Small sampling of minor league caps
Shopping from A League of Their Own
Each year, Cooperstown reissued newly discovered styles from lesser known or non-professional teams. These were special edition options from 1994.


A few special edition and “fictional” team caps including one for the New York Knights


International models (I always wanted a Yomoyuri Giants cap)
Regretting that I never mailed out my order for one of the cricket caps (see 1999 cover)


New discoveries for 1999
Caps could be ordered in any combination of colors or historical styles
Custom sizing options (I always requested a shallow crown w/a short cut)
Fine print

Branch Rickey, St. Louis AL [1913]