Early Goldsmith catchers mitt

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Early Goldsmith catchers mitt

Postby mikesglove » July 28th, 2012, 3:27 am

This mitt had some things going for it but was in poor shape.

A large mitt at 11" diameter. It has a funky replacement buckle strap and a fair amount of overall wear and tear to both sides.
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Goldsmith patented its own heel lacing variation in 1905. It is one of the more intricate features of the mitt. This one has old twine as lacing. Some of the torn leather is visible above the heel lacing.
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The pocket is broken down from use. The reinforcing stitching is worn away and the canvas pocket reinforcement inside the mitt is long gone.
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This 1908 patent grommet webbing is Goldsmith's variation of the tried and true Jason Draper grommet web patent of 1891.
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Besides the replacement buckle strap, the rivets on each side of the wrist opening are gone and the torn leather is visible near the heel. The tear continues up toward the thumb about another three inches.
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First step was to remove the inner padding. Someone stuffed an old article of clothing into the middle of the padding as the old padding broke down. Pretty funny to find that.Image

Taking a look inside the heel opening I saw this fiber insert at the top of the mitt held in place by leather belt loops. The fiber insert was a stiffener for the top of the mitt and possible finger protector.
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The fiber stiffener was broken into four pieces. They were basically heavy laminated paper about 1" wide and 1/8" thick
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I was able to re-glue the pieces together and added a reinforcement in back of the repaired seams. I put the stiffener back inside the mitt using the inner belt loops
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I fashioned a new buckle strap using some old vintage leather. The design was based on the original stitching on the mitt. I drew the stitching pattern in pencil on the strap.
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I sewed the new strap onto the mitt and began to glue canvas flaps under one side of the torn leather at the heel. The trick is to see how the seam matches up when I glue the other side in place. i did a little preliminary cleaning on the first finger stall to see if the original golden color could be achieved.
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I was worried there would be gaps, but the repaired seam came out great. I replaced the wrist opening rivets with some antique rivets I bought at a flea market. I redid the heel opening with some thin flat leather lacing. The cloth patch is an early P. Goldsmith's Sons logo.
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This is the back of the finished mitt after the cleaning and conditioning. I was happy the glove section came out with a pretty even color. I used a hand cleaner w/pumice and saddle soap on the glove section. I used Vaseline on the piping and "Hide Bracer" on some of the buckskin areas.
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I redid the web lacing as one of the last steps. On hind sight, I would have saved myself a lot of time by doing this job while I could still reach inside the mitt. It was fairly difficult to do at the end. This 1908 web design only lasted a year or two at Goldsmith. It was just too difficult to re-lace, especially during a game. I looked through a 1910 Goldsmith catalog and this style web lacing was no longer present on the catchers mitts. The different tanned leather colors are visible here and one of the features I really like. there were smooth leathers used in combination with different buckskin types.
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This is the finished front after the four rows of pocket reinforcement were re-sewn. A canvas backing was added inside the mitt. The pocket creases pretty much were eliminated with a repositioning of the inner padding and the canvas pocket backing
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Last edited by mikesglove on July 30th, 2012, 1:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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mikesglove
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Re: Early Goldsmith catchers mitt

Postby okdoak » July 29th, 2012, 11:32 am

Nice work Mike, especially on the heel of the liner! Did you resew everything by hand?
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Re: Early Goldsmith catchers mitt

Postby mikesglove » July 29th, 2012, 6:17 pm

thanks Greg. Everything that had to be sewn, I did by hand. The 4 rows pocket stitching for example was done at a clip of 1/2 a row each night so it took a while. I used contact cement to repair the ripped area at the heel. I would do small section of the canvas backing at a time because once the cement is bonded it is not coming loose again and I didn't want to be caught with a misaligned seam.
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