LOST WORLDS COLLECTION
BECK Horsehide Leather Motorcycle Jacket
exceptional examples of classic BECK NORTHEASTER FLYING TOGS Horsehide
Motorcycle Jackets. While the Tanaka book indicates Becks were made by
Schott, this doesn't make sense. Northeaster Flying Togs were made in
Everett, Mass. by Leathertogs either for Beck or distributed by Beck,
located in NYC, as the
labels identify both companies. Our
jacket label would appear to confirm this.
FLYING TOGS were made in good quantities and of exceptional leather and workmanship. Examples exist into the 60s but as with most of the chief jacket mfgs., Horsehide becomes scarcer in the later 1950s and Steerhide (Cowhide) takes over. Whether steers were ever actually separated at slaughter houses from cows is debatable and our own tannery, which has long experience in horse and bovine tanning, affirms that cow might even be tougher leather than steer because of higher fat. But semantics could also play a role in why mfgs. claimed Steerhide -- the steer conjures up the West and the cowboy tradition and hence seems closer in spirit and practice to the disappearing horse while cows are Elsie and milk, a purely feminine connotation, not a rough, tough riding image.
The example shown with the
Light Gray Wool lining is, remarkably, Brand New, NOS, still sporting its Size 34
(alas!) inventory tag, and likely dates from early 50s with its alloy
zippers. The Cotton Plaid Beck is a little older. BECK/FLYING TOGS/LEATHERTOGS always use
excellent heavyweight Horsehide and are built like tanks. Beautiful classic
D-pocket with superior detailing. Just the epitome of the classic postwar
no-nonsense motorcycle jacket.
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