Snellenburg Frock Coat

DuckNachos99

Cadet
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
I have in my possession a frock coat made by Snellenburg & Co. I was curious as to when it was made. I know it’s a post-war coat, but I don’t know what decade. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Hard to see as there are no close up pics of the buttons, but they look like they could be Civil War era enlisted man buttons, so I wonder if they are original to the jacket. Are there any letters on the eagle shields? Do they all have the same backmark? Is it possible to lift one up enough to be able to post a pic of the back? A couple more photos will help us date the buttons.
 

bobinwmass

Corporal
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Just a few more details about Snellenburgs that I learned on Wikipedia. As mentioned above, the Wilmington branch opened in 1895, but the company name changed fron N. Snellenburg to The Snellenburg Company in 1904. So based on the label in your coat, it was made during the 9 year period of 1895-1904 and could fall into the Spanish-American War era. Snellenburg's was a large wholesale clothing manufacturer (reportedly the largest in the world at one point, with up to 3000 employees) with their own retail stores. Because they made and sold their own clothing, cutting out the middle man, they could keep prices lower and were considered a middle class shopping store. Their slogan was "The thrifty store for thrifty people." That relates to my question about the buttons, which are hard to see. If not Civil War era, then they are likely original to the coat. If actually Civil War era buttons, did Snellenburg's use older surplus buttons to help keep prices low, or were the buttons replaced by someone afterwards?
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Tail pockets?
Yes, frock coats of a certain period had pockets in the rear of the coat, these were not noticeable to the casual observer. Tail pockets, among other attributes help date a coat.

There is supposition to the purpose of the pockets, access was easier on horseback and didn’t contribute to unsightly bulges that waist pockets would engender.

Weights were sometimes put in the pockets as a way to help smooth wrinkles when other means were unavailable. The pockets were generally lined in polished cotton.
 

lupaglupa

2nd Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
That is so cool. I'm a big fan of pockets - which as a woman I often find in short supply. Learn something new every day - if you're lucky.
 

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