From the Tent City Archives, Vol. 4

By Jason McKenzie


Howdy folks! Boy, it’s been a lot of fun digging down in the Tent City Mines this week. With the holiday season upon us, I excavated a few gems from the Archives that are sure to keep you and your loved ones warm and toasty in good old fashioned, made in USA treasures.


This is by far the oldest product I’ve ever offered on CWAC, and it’s a treat to get to share them with you. The “Trigger Finger, OG-108″ 100% Wool Mitten Insert was made during World War II for use by infantrymen in cold climates. It is a nice, medium-weight wool mitten liner, but with a separate index finger for shooting. They were originally issued individually, and are all identical (there is no left or right). Each one comes with its original guide for use on a very yellowed slip of paper. You’ll have to buy a pair to see the almost 70 year old instructions, but I’ll tease you with this tidbit, “Dirty Inserts are cold.” These sniper mitts are great daily use hand wear in the winter months, and will be a fun piece of history for you to own. They run pretty big, like a men’s large, but still look good even when floppy. $15 a pair.


Now onto the newest idea for an old item. We’ve been sitting on these Fox River Xstatic gloves for at least 15 years, if not 20, when we decided to pull them out onto the floor again- we’ve been having pretty good luck with the old stuff recently. A train conductor bought a pair, and came back several hours later. He was excited to share with us that the glove liners, which use a silver coated thread, worked with his iPhone. He joked that he hadn’t been able to stop texting all day. Similar gloves are “new” to the market now, but these old goodies were made in Osage, Iowa and will only set you back $10 a pair, and they work just fine with touch screens, guaranteed.


This Navajo Blanket Lined Carhartt denim Chore Coat is an icon. Built tough from washed dark dyed denim, and lined completely, including sleeves, in a retro Navajo inspired print, this classic Chore Coat was made in America in the late 80’s- early 90’s by Union Labor, and is available in size Medium only (fits like a size 40). $99.


I don’t have the slightest clue how we ended up with these fine medium wale corduroy pants from Brooks Brothers, or how old they are. Or, why after all these years, the tags are still on them. I’m guessing they are mid-nineties vintage, but who knows. They are made in the USA, and have a luxurious hand that would pair well with a Chamois shirt. They have a plain front, and come in a 30″ waist with a very long inseam that is intended to be hemmed. Available in Dark Navy and Taupe as well. $49.


And speaking of chamois shirts, these Woodsman Extra Heavyweight Chamois Shirts are probably the finest quality shirts at Hilton’s Tent City, deadstock or otherwise. They are whipstitched throughout, and use the stoutest of all the 100% cotton chamois shirts I’ve found. I can’t find anything about the company’s history, but based on where I found them, how they were made, and where they were made, it’s safe bet to say these were made in the late 70’s to early 80’s. The fit is generous. Kelly Green and Cream Yellow available in size medium only. “Made in U.S.A. by American Labor.” $40.


These Chippewa Gumsole Pac Boots look suspiciously like the ubiquitous Bean boot, but are a bit more beefed up, and, they have a removable felt liner. Made in Missouri in the 1980’s, these 12″ boots feature thick leather uppers with brass hardware, and thick, duck bill rubber bottoms. Great for winter excursions in deep snow and ice. Available in size 12 and 13, $99.


The best knee high, rag wool socks money can buy have been made to the same chunky specifications by Wigwam Mills in Sheboygan, Wisconsin since the turn of the last century. These socks are so incredibly thick and warm, they almost make your feet too toasty! They are made of “Ragg Stretch” material, which is 80% Wool, 18% Nylon, and 2% Spandex. They fit men’s shoe sizes 9-12, and are the perfect sock for the Chippewas listed above, or any other over-sized, winter footwear. Made in the 1980’s. $10 a pair.

Well, that’s all for now, folks. As always, I really appreciate all your interest and support, and hope to hear from you soon. If you like any of these oldies, you can email me or give us a call at the store at (800) 362-8368 to place an order. You can also follow me on Tumblr or Twitter to stay up to date on my latest Tent City finds. Happy Holidays!