Continued from the Mackinaw Coat Page –
The first Mackinaw coat can trace its existent back to 1811 on the upper Great Lakes near Mackinac. The British army post at Ford St. Joseph had a need for woolen Greatcoats for the army John Askin a trader was contracted to design and make 40 of these coats. John Wife Madelaine took an important role in designing and making of the coats. The first of these coats called for them to be made of blue 3-point trade blankets, but blanks of blue proved insufficient, so the number was filled out from blankets in red as well as the black –on –red plaid pattern that associated with the coats of today. IT would be found that the long skirt of the greatcoat were unsuitable for deep snow, and once these were removed, the Mackinaw coat was born.
These coats have their origins on the Canadian Frontier and were later made famous by American loggers in the upper Midwest during the mid-19th century logging boom. In Canada, the “Mac” is regarded as a marker of national identity and working-class values in American in the first haft of the 20th century we frequently refer barnstormers. This name comes about with the barnstormers stunt pilot of the first ww1 and the name would be refine again. At this time every young man out there wants to be one of the great aces of the First World War with the big leather coat, goggles, and tall lace up boots. There was also the practicality of the longer coat to keeping your legs and waist warmer in an airplane or early motorcycle in the 1930s. The general public would by these coats from sears catalogs under the name of HERCULES as a mail order jacket, or from many of the motorcycle clothing dealers of the day. Dorling the WW2 these Mackinaw coat would be adapted as the main army uniform coat of the war. Many of the GI would bring the Mackinaw uniform coats back to work as the motorcycle coats. To this day many of the Police departments like New York City used the Mackinaw coat for its great warmth and comfort.