To a historical clothing collector, one of the most exciting things that can happen is to find one of the treasures in one’s collection in a vintage photograph. I was happy to get this photo from reader Edgertor in my inbox last week. The photo is of her grandmother, and was taken sometime in the early 1930s. The coat looks to be a Pendleton toboggan coat, which was made by Pendleton in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
I’m lucky enough to have this model in red in my collection. The Costume Institute at the Met has a black one, and the Pendleton archives also has tan and khaki versions. All four are made from a textile called the Glacier Park stripe. The toboggan coat was also made in a pattern called Harding. I’ve never seen an example except for photos from the Pendleton archive.
Unfortunately, it appears that the coat has not survived. The coat’s owner was a dairy farmer in Connecticut, and she died only a few years after this photo was taken. The farm’s barn is still there, and maybe buried under a pile of hay, the coat might someday be found. That’s my wish, at least.