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Men's pants of the 1940's
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Lazy Al    Posted 03-24-2004 at 08:01:01       [Reply]  [No Email]

I have a tape of making bombs for WWll and one guy had on a pair of these pants that lace up the back . Does any one remember men wearing these type pants . Looks like they would fit several sizes

Fern(Mi)    Posted 03-24-2004 at 17:54:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Looks like the back of my old corset?

Big Mike    Posted 03-24-2004 at 11:09:05       [Reply]  [No Email]
Well Al, I've never seen pants like that, but I'am only 42, so.... But,Bomb Making, being the DANGEROUS profession that it was, I'd immagine there was a few CLOSE CALLS at the ol'Plant,and that coulda been a conveniant way to clean up afterwards!!!! ";^D

Kat in NJ    Posted 03-24-2004 at 09:31:26       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Al -- thanks for posting this; I do some costuming and clothing history, so it is always personally interesting to see things like this!

Wish I could see the actual garment! If this is the back of the pants, and not some sort of support device (yes, men wore corsets sometimes up until the 19th and early 20th centuries -- and in a way still do, if you've ever seen the Home Depot waist supports!)-- lacing up the back of the pants is a way to make one size fit more people. Men's trousers, up until the time of store-bought suits, were usually made with some sort of lacing in the back, though I haven't seen anything that laced this far!

If the pants are worn only by one person, it could be a pair of pants that were let out at home and rigged up to fit someone other than the original owner. Notice that the shirt seems to be made of two different materials. Does the film say what region of the country the factory was in? I did some study one time on the atomic plant at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Because the factory workers there came from a poor background, many didn't have good work clothing and would sort of cobble together something from what they had at home. This outfit is consistent with some of the clothing worn by the Oak Ridge workers.

Anyway, great shot from the television!

Kat in NJ

Al    Posted 03-24-2004 at 13:36:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
Like gfp says they laced up the back and were stylish back in the thirties and forties . Plus they could be adjusted for the next guy or if you gained weight .
This plant was in Traverse City Mi. and it was the Parsons Co. that later went on to make helicopter blades and ended up in California .
I Might have even knew this mans family and I remember guys wearing them .
He is wearing a plaid shirt and leather
welding sleeves and is welding on a bomb in this shot .
An interesting fact about J Parson is he is considered a father of robots and was in to the BI numeral system way back in the forties . They have a plaque honoring him in front of the building .
It is a very interesting 25 min tape and I feel lucky to have it .

Alias    Posted 03-24-2004 at 12:05:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
Kat, I was born in '37. And, I do remember those pants. They were worn by young fellows in their mid teens to early 20's. The lacing in the back served two purposes. First they were stylish. Secondly, the could be "let out" for growing boys. Now, they were in vogue not so long after the great depression. So, hand-me-downs were a fact of life. Therefore, by being able to change the waist size at the tug of a string insured they would get full use from the garment.

Further, The inspiration for this style may have come from a character actor in the cowboy movies of the day. His name was Fuzzy St. James and his pants had been let out and resewed which revealed a wedged shaped "V" that extended downward from his belt. The "V" did not show the same wear as the rest of the pants and was in stark contrast with the part that was faded.........gfp

Alias    Posted 03-24-2004 at 12:10:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
I forgot to mention that these pants were usually made of denim. They were softer and not as heavy as blue jeans..........gfp

My Father...    Posted 03-24-2004 at 12:26:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Was in the navy in the 'Korean' period and his SeaBag has two pair of trousers with the lacing like this...They are made of blue-black stiff material which I would swear is thin, pressed felt...Definately not woven fabric like denim...


Alias    Posted 03-24-2004 at 13:21:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Of course, you're right. Those Navy winter dress pants were made of heavy wool and were Navy blue, bell bottoms, with the lacing, and worn with a pull over shirt of the same material.Said shirt had, to the best of my recollection, a laced front at the neck. This was the standard Class A uniform for enlisted personnel. In addition, the navy did issue the denim version. These were on the order of the army's fatigues, and used for work. Blue cambrey shirts were worn with the denim pants But, I'm not sure if the denims had the lacing.

However, civilian boys wore the store bought, commercial version also. Since you brought this to my attention, I am compelled to play the politican and restate my position. By that, I mean Fuzzy St. James, aka Fuzzy Q. Jones, may not have been the inspiration for the design in question.....gfp

Clipper    Posted 03-24-2004 at 13:10:42       [Reply]  [No Email]
The material is known as "Gaberdine" to American sailors and is still in use to this day. :^)

Pat    Posted 03-24-2004 at 14:24:46       [Reply]  [No Email]
The material used to make Navy blue uniform in the 60's & 70's was "melton" woll, or something like that. It was a lot like felt. The legs were straight, not belled--that you had to get done by a tailor. The gaberdine blues came later.

Alias    Posted 03-24-2004 at 13:30:26       [Reply]  [No Email]
Clipper, I was not in the navy so all I have to rely on is my fading memory. But, I had a cousin that was and I could have sworn his uniform was heavy wool back during WWII. Could it be that Gaberdine Came along later? .......gfp (Who is fading much too fast).

Clipper    Posted 03-24-2004 at 13:34:43       [Reply]  [No Email]
Yep...the uniforms were originally wool which was a PITA to keep clean and to wear...Gaberdine came out in the late 50's and is the most popular.Funny thing is standard boot camp issue dress blues are STILL wool! Sailors gotta pay fer their own gaberdine uniforms.Go figger.

Fawteen    Posted 03-24-2004 at 14:43:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
There ya go. "Gabardines" was liberty uniforms, only the real liberty hounds spent money on 'em.

My issue blues had the lace-up notch in the rear right up until they went over to the "One Navy" CPO style uniforms for everybody in about 76 or 77. Stupid idea, IMHO...

Clipper    Posted 03-24-2004 at 14:51:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Oh yeah...the infamous Ice Cream Man uniform!!! LOL!!

Fawteen    Posted 03-24-2004 at 15:26:27       [Reply]  [No Email]
Double knit salt and peppers was purdy nice tho. Cool, and ya could get a coupla days out of 'em, didn't show the dirt so bad.

Did you ever wear them gawdawful polyester "utility" uniforms they tried to replace dungarees with? FUGLY, and impossible to get wrinkles out of. Fortunately, they proved to be more than a bit flammable too, so they didn't last long.

Clipper    Posted 03-24-2004 at 15:43:17       [Reply]  [No Email]
Dang near kilt a bunch of the MM's in the Engine Rooms Fleet-wide....butt ugly an useless ta boot....never did find out how much a kick-back the SecDef and CNO made on THAT little venture of "modernization".....Grrrrrrrrr.

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