1894 mitt

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1894 mitt

Postby mikesglove » January 1st, 2012, 8:18 pm

This is another project from my box of questionable purchases. I keep telling myself. "this is the last one", but I liked the primitive look, the "Decker"finger guard and the unique "web". The grommets and lacing were not of standard size because the mitt was so old and it was not immediately apparent how the missing wrist strap originally worked.

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It is not really visible here in this pic of the web but there is another two rows of grommets in the perimeter banding behind the ones visible on the face of the mitt. 20+ in all. Quite a few of the grommets were torn loose and I had to replace about 12 total including around the outside edge of the mitt.
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A nice finger guard with some really crusty green grommets
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The perimeter lacing was so brittle there was no chance of saving it, so it came off in little 1/2" long chunks. With the finger guard removed, the original leather color is revealed. The rest of the mitt will never be that light colored again.
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At least the padding pretty much came out in one piece
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The interior view of the front section of the mitt. I had to reinforce quite a few areas with canvas to reset new grommets or to strengthen a fragile area.
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I couldn't even begin the restoration until I searched ebay and the web and finally found a source for the oddball size grommets and some thin, flat lacing. The repaired front section looks pretty cool to me. Some of the original crease in the pocket is reduced because I adjusted the padding to give a little deeper pocket. I really like the rows of lacing in the web. There was a Goldsmith patent around the turn of the century that had a variation of this design.
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There are quite a few grommets around the perimeter and really spaced closely together. It took about a six foot length of lacing to redo the outside of the mitt.
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After some research on patent drawings, JD's site and Dave Bushings book of Vintage Sports Equipment, I found three possibilities for a wrist strap for that era. I could incorporate a buckle, a small button or a hook. The buckle seemed too sophisticated for the primitive look of the mitt and the hook looked a little weird on the mitt. I found a small antique brass button on ebay that seemed the right size and incorporated that into the wrist strap. I had an old donor mitt with the right type of dark, checked leather and cut out pieces for the strap and flange to mount the button. The mitt originally had a nice arc design above and below the wrist strap which I tried to keep.
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This 1891 patent drawing of a finger guard mitt is what I ultimately used as a guide for the wrist strap.
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The mitt is actually pretty thick, about 21/2"
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Last edited by mikesglove on January 2nd, 2012, 3:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby larjoranj » January 1st, 2012, 10:40 pm

How are the strap and flange attached?
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby okdoak » January 2nd, 2012, 1:33 pm

mikesglove wrote:I keep telling myself. "this is the last one",
I know that feeling. :) I'll bet you're glad that you took a chance on it after the way it turned out, though. Really like the look of the button and strap and the web lacing. Beautiful job on a really distinctive looking mitt, Mike.
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby deebro041 » January 14th, 2012, 3:54 am

That's a fantastic restoration job Mike! How heavy is the glove? Was there anything unusual in the stuffing?
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby softball66 » January 15th, 2012, 9:21 am

Mike, that's a breathtaking restoration job. Can't tell you how much that enlightens us on the structure, components of a mitt that is over a century old. Hast and Caps off to you.
Note, I will be posting a little cleaning problem on grommets here that I see were on the original grommets (eyelets) on this mitt.
Beyond kool! Great results!
:D
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby mikesglove » February 28th, 2012, 5:28 am

Thanks for the comments, sorry it took so long to reply. The leather pieces I added , the strap and the flange holding the button, had to be layered and glued underneath with a thin piece of leather that bridged the old to the new pieces. I tried to keep it from looking too bulky. The padding was mostly cotton type batting with horsehair and shredded fabric, nothing to unusual. The mitt is not really heavy. The most unusual thing is the mitt is completely hand made. Every stitch was hand done and there was some pretty intricate work. I looked through quart jars of antique buttons at flea markets and couldn't find one that resembled the style on the old glove photos I had seen. Good old ebay came through however after a couple weeks of searching for the right brass button. I searched online for solutions to dissolve the green crud around the grommets like baking soda and vinegar and nothing really worked so i just scraped each one down with some old dentist picks.
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby GloveCrazy » March 6th, 2012, 12:09 am

Dude, those are some mad skills! I'm now going through my project glove box for some candidates to keep you busy. We shan't have idle hands.
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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby mikesglove » July 3rd, 2012, 2:48 pm

Brett and William were mentioning relacing a mitt when the grommets don't line up. This mitt had 5 more grommets on the top section compared to the bottom. I had to choose my spots to double up the lacing through a grommet. The picture below shows 2 of the doubled-up areas. I took photos of the original lacing pattern before I took the mitt apart and that helped.

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Re: 1894 mitt

Postby Number9 » July 3rd, 2012, 8:19 pm

I think Brett's mitt had the same count discrepancy. There's probably a rhyme and a reason for it. If I were to do it again, I'd set out to cinch up the corners and the base of the web to use all five points. I think I was close to that configuration. Once I got it laced up, the extra cinch points really helped the shape of the mitt. What's particularly strange is that I don't remember there being any doubled up eyelets when I unlaced it, but then again, the lace wasn't original to start with and the shape was kind of flat.
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