Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘extinct brands’

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]

Archival Ebay: Hebden Cord Shooting Jacket

January 20th, 2010

by Lesli Larson

Archival Clothing readers are well acquainted with my obsession for Hebden Cord, an out-of-business UK clothier. Hebden Cord offered made-to-measure jackets, trousers and breeks in a selection of moleskins, cottons and tweeds. Upon request, Hebden Cord mailed out a sizing guide and matchbook sized fabric swatches (some quite shopworn or sun damaged). From overseas, one could spec the size, cut and finishing details of any garment in the Hebden Cord line. At the time Hebden Cord went out of business, I was plotting my order for double seated cycling shorts in heavyweight twill whipcord.

The nearest contemporary match to Hebden Cord is Old Town Clothing where one can still customize the fabric on a fixed range of garments, but not the fit.

Hebden Cord print catalogs were simple, rarely changing from year to year. For this reason, I like to collect ebay images of Hebden Cord items to monitor how patterns were customized over time. Here is a recent tweed shooting jacket which would be perfect for either game poaching or Tweed Ride use.




Hebden Cord Tweed Shooting Jacket (ebay item: 180458736173)

Coming soon: full Hebden Cord catalog reprint. Shopping from 2004!