California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

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California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby mikesglove » December 25th, 2010, 3:23 am

The California Glove Company was started due to the success of the parent company, Sawyer Tannery on the riverfront in Napa, CA.
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In 1875, Emanuel Manesse, as foreman of Sawyer Tannery patented a superior process to tan leather that kept the hide soft and resilient yet still long wearing. He called his tanning process for different hides, "Nap-A-Tan and Nap-A-Ite". The "Nappa Leather" hides grew in popularity and eventually became world renowned. The tannery sold tanned hides to most of the major baseball equipment manufacturers. To lure prospective employees to this rapidly expanding business, Sawyer agents were sent to Gloversville, NY., the major glove manufacturing center on the east coast. The agent were given the task to wear sandwich boards and walk the streets advertising the advantages of moving further west to the influx of European artisan immigrants moving into the Gloversville area.
The California Glove Co. was a subsidiary of Sawyer tannery selling finished goods. Reuben Raymond was their main designer and patented gloves ranging from work and hand gloves to baseball gloves. The 1922 patented model below is unique in the variation on the Spalding diverted seam patent of 1908.
1922 raymond.jpg

The Spalding patent of 1908 called for a diverted seam on the first, third and pinky finger
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The Raymond patent called for six diverted seams, two for each finger stall crotch. It was a clever design.
Nap A Ite 1 Inch Web Fronta1a.JPG

The paired seams joined the back seam with a circular design. No. 38 in the illustration
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the circular crotch seams are only partially visible from this view of JD's glove. Cool cloth patch though!
Nap A Ite 1 Inch Web Backxa.JPG
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby Kenny Wel » December 25th, 2010, 8:53 am

The information you provide is amazing, Mike!

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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby ebbets55 » December 25th, 2010, 2:16 pm

Yes, outstanding post Mike. I don't think anyone would have ever known anything about this company without your research. It's nice to know a little bit about my glove. Thanks.

JD
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby Kenny Wel » December 25th, 2010, 3:01 pm

If the info you routinely provide here, Mike, was in a book, I would definately buy it!

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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby mikesglove » December 25th, 2010, 3:25 pm

Ken and JD, thanks so much! A number of years ago my wife and I took a dinner cruise up the Napa River. Unknown to me, I'm sure we passed right by the Sawyer Tannery. The tannery closed long ago and has been for sale recently. There are quite a few acres involved and the plan is to develop the property into a mixed usage of retail, restaurant and residential condos.
Sawyer Tannery Watertowera.JPG
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby vintagebrett » December 25th, 2010, 6:24 pm

There is a mitt by this company up on eBay now. Looks to be a cheap end model but has a neat tag
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... K:MEWAX:IT
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby softball66 » December 26th, 2010, 8:54 am

Mike's been providing the forum and we glove collectors highly informative glove information all year. Mike, you should consider compiling and organizing this into a book of some sort. Your accompanying images are always button on. For years I've heard of "Napa" leather but had no information on Sawyer or its historic background. I would suppose the plant might have closed down because of environmental issues .
Seems I recall the "Napa" leather was generally soft and supple. Serious collectors should consider that glove being offered on ebay in my estimation. Nice piece of history. I'm not sure If I recall seeing others. I've still got a little memento of the "Lone Star Bat Company" in Crockett, Texas, which probably had perhaps a briefer sojurn into the sporting goods world.
Thanks Mike for digging this keystone nugget out and the many others you've submitted to the forum!
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby mikesglove » December 28th, 2010, 6:10 am

Thanks Joe! Before the environmental issues became a factor, the influx of imported leather goods around 1955 really put the clamps on the Sawyer factory. Their market shrank to the point of not being profitable.
This 1914 D&M catalog shows many Napa Leather gloves. The leather was softer and not used for the top of the line D&M gloves. The Napa hides used were kid, lamb and sheepskin. The top of the line gloves in this catalog were mostly horsehide and calfskin.
Draper-and-Maynard-1914-Catalog_page001a33aw.jpg


The formula for tanning "Nappa Leather" is still used today but mainly for very high end leather goods. Here is Jennifer Love Hewitt with a Napa Leather handbag
images napa.jpg
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby Kenny Wel » December 28th, 2010, 8:54 am

What a waste! Do you know how many mitts could have been made instead of that ugly bag?!!!

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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby mikesglove » December 23rd, 2011, 11:56 pm

"Raywill" was one of three brands manufactured by the California Glove Co. The other two were "Nap-a-ite and "Mocasin". The Raywill glove pictured seems to have the diverted finger seams consistent with the Ruben Raymond patent shown above.
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Shown below is a vintage picture of the California Glove Co. factory in Napa. The second picture is a vintage photo of the Sawyer Tannery along the Napa River.
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Re: California Glove Company, circa 1903 Napa, CA

Postby mikesglove » October 28th, 2014, 2:04 pm

Below is a pretty cool California made glove from Raywill Mfg. of Napa operating as the California Glove Co. The glove's big claim to fame was the Reuben Raymond diverted seam patent of 1923.

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The photo below shows some nice markings in the pocket. Stamped near the heel is "Double Diveted Seam, Patented June 27 1923"
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Nice Grommet web, Raywill cloth patch and an elaborate logo button.
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The photo below shows the Raymond diverted seams. There are two diverted seams per finger crotch for a total of six as opposed to the Spalding/Reach 1909 patent of one seam per finger crotch for a total of three.
Image
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