What Is A Workman Glove?

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What Is A Workman Glove?

Postby softball66 » January 3rd, 2008, 8:06 am

More and more frequently I'm seeing turn of the century gloves described on eBay as "Workman" glove, which I would beg to differ on that description. These gloves have either a web or a crescent padding in the palm or both.
Now a workman's glove to me has neither I've never seen anyone with a shovel in his hand with a glove bearing a web or having a crescent. It SHOULD LOOK like a workman's leather glove! (By the way, they referred to these baseball gloves in their day as "brakeman's gloves" because they looked like the leather gloves used by Trolley Car brakemen. No crescents, no webbing.
Sellers are using these terms to enhance their sales but to me it's a clear misnomer.
There are crescent gloves, webbed gloves, webbed/crescent gloves and should be titled as such, but should they have the term "workman's gloves added???
:?: :?: :?:
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I agree

Postby Cowboy7130 » January 3rd, 2008, 10:56 am

I agree. I began to notice this little "mini-trend" too, and I wondered what I was missing. I thought I knew what a workman's glove was, and then I began to see gloves that did not fit my idea of the definition. I am glad to know I was not the only one! :?
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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Postby stockbuddy » January 3rd, 2008, 12:00 pm

Joe, an interesting topic you have brought up on the workman glove. Part of the fun and enjoyment is the learning process in this hobby. Your insightful perspective on these old timer gloves is appreciated.

Dave
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Postby Mike**Mize » January 3rd, 2008, 1:17 pm

Good topic, Joe. What I've noticed about these inaccurately described Workman's Gloves is that they are all what should be referred to as "Lightly Padded" models (I think). While it is fascinating to see at how absolutely flat and workglove-like these old webbed gloves are, that doesn't make them brakeman's or workman's gloves. The real McCoy is webless.
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Postby burker72 » January 3rd, 2008, 1:22 pm

Are workman's gloves necessarily fingerless? Or posed another way, are rare fingerless gloves regarded as workman's gloves?
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Meaty topic

Postby softball66 » January 3rd, 2008, 5:45 pm

Believe it or not, I learn as much from this forum these days as I do anywhere else. We have some bright and learned people here.
My thoughts on the fingerless gloves, that these started with the catcher who often wore a padded left and a fingerless for throwing with right hand (or whatever throwing hand). I call these fingerless, just as they are, "fingerless." The full glove of that era, will resemble a workman's glove. Mike is right some are padded some are not. The earlier one's weren't: hence the Irwin D&M padded workman glove being introduced later in the 1880s when he'd hurt his hand. That's the progression as I know it. Later came the crescent and the web in the 1890s.
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Workman's Gloves

Postby ebbets55 » January 4th, 2008, 11:27 pm

Great topic Joe. I think you and I have been in the minority for a long time on this topic. You are absolutely correct in your definition of workman's, webless & crescent gloves. When I built the glove picture website, I was looking forward to setting the record straight about what a true workman's glove is because most people don't know. I believe I have labeled those gloves and mitts properly in the 19th Century Gallery.

Bottom line, a workman's glove has no web and no crescent padded heel. Period.

JD
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Postby BretMan » January 5th, 2008, 2:12 am

Speak of the devil...

A "Workman" Glove That Isn't
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Postby BretMan » January 5th, 2008, 2:19 pm

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Workman glove

Postby david bushing » January 7th, 2008, 5:43 pm

While the gloves listed on ebay as posted as workmans gloves surely do not fit that description, I beg to differ on the fact that a workman style glove with a padded heel or a web cannot be called a later workman style. In most of the ninteenth century catalogs in our data base, gloves in the 1890's are simply listed as gloves and mitts with the style changes shown in later catalogs with the improvements such as webs and pads. In my book on sport equipment published in 1995 by SCD, which list the workman style glove with all of the improvements as such detailing them as later syle, improved, workman gloves. I think the term, as applied by myself and other collectors, is a collectors term and not a factory designated term that changed as improvements were made and are simply a way for collectors to label an early style glove but I disagree that any early workmans style glove with padding or a web cannot be labeled as such. You will find numerous references to a workmans glove in my book with and without webs or padding as long as the style is of that era and the improvements are listed as such. If a catalog lists a glove sans padding or webs as workman style and then it is listed as something else once improved, then that changes the playing field. If another collecting source defines a workman glove and subsequent improvements and pre dates the SCD guide, then credit to that source must be given but I am unaware of any earlier published description of such. The term "workman" refers to a style which encompasses many makers and improvements along with various design differences such as the small button wrist or the open side post but ends when the gloves take on the wider appearance seen after 1905 in the majority of glove
catalogs. David Bushing
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spalding glove on ebay

Postby david bushing » January 7th, 2008, 5:55 pm

You will notice on the Spalding version that it is narrow at the wrist and has the short thumb which is closest to the original workman style yet the wrist strap is more modern closely resembling those gloves seen after the turn of the century and is a sort of transition model or another improvment on the workman style while the Goldsmith glove has the larger thumb and the very wide wrist or base area and while early, it is a distinct departure from the workman style and now takes on the shape of gloves to be seen until the 1920's improvements although outdated styles of gloves continued for years as the most inexpensive models, companies using their old dies on obsolete models to shore up the cheap bottom line gloves.
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Postby vintagebrett » January 7th, 2008, 6:11 pm

I'm finding this topic very interesting and I'm learning quite a bit. Maybe a dumb question, but where did the term "workman" glove originate? Is is a manufacturer term or is it one coined by collectors?
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workman

Postby david bushing » January 7th, 2008, 7:05 pm

Brett, we have several pre 1900 catalogs and copies and the term is not found in any of our records to my knowledge but will be in milwaukee and look at each to be sure but it is a collectors term to my knowledge that was used by us long before I ever put down a description in my 1995 guide. dave
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Postby vintagebrett » January 7th, 2008, 8:24 pm

Interesting, I'm wondering when the term came about and who coined it? It seems that glove collecting became in vogue in the late 1980's with Joe's newsletter. I've always wondered about the hobby before this time - you read about baseball card collecting pioneers from the 1960's and 70's but nothing really about equipment - I wonder if the term originated sometime then or maybe even before.
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I thought the term ...

Postby Cowboy7130 » January 7th, 2008, 8:26 pm

I thought the term came from the resemblance of the glove to a "work" glove used by the typical coal miner or farm hand in the late 19th or early 20th century. Similarly, the "brakeman's glove" term describes a glove that a train brakeman would have used in his work in the engine cab of a steam locomotive.

I have a bucolic, pastoral image in my mind of a group of farm boys rolling up one glove and putting it in the bib of their overalls, leaving one glove on their hands and going to the county fair grounds for a game of "base ball." Maybe the train came in, and the brakeman, wearing his train engineer's cap and one of his gloves, will be pitching for the visiting team today ... :roll:

When we work on our barbed-wire (bob-wahr) fences down here in Texas, we use leather working gloves, but I'll be dogged if I try to catch a line drive with one of them! :lol: :lol: :lol:
Yes, I still have my first glove.
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