Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

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Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby Vendetta on Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:41 pm

Now, I am sure we all can debate on what might possibly be the Holy Grail of all vintage tees and surely we could get some great answers. But, in this post I want to talk about "age." What is the oldest printed t-shirt out there? I mean printed t-shirts didn't really go into production until the late 40s early 50s so finding anything prior to that time line would be rare and almost impossible, correct?

Here is a few things I have found online:

"The Smithsonian Institute displays the oldest printed shirt on record, emblazoned with the phrase "Dew-It with Dewey" from New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey's 1948 presidential campaign."

"It wasn't until the late 1930s that companies including Hanes, Sears & Roebuck, and Fruit of the Loom earnestly started to market the T-shirt."

So with all this being said, I leave you with what I happened to unearth two weeks ago...A 1938 Soap Box Derby vintage tee. Here is the small amount of research I've done:

-Blackwell Tribune is a newspaper in Blackwell, Oklahoma USA
-In the city of Blackwell they have had a yearly soap box derby dating back to the first in 1934.

This gives a little validity and authentication of this tee and puts it at the 4th annual soap box derby.

So what do you think it is worth? :D
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby jimmyj on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:06 pm

Hmmmmm very interesting, sweet find. The label strikes me as being a little ahead of it's time for 1938, how is it fastened...what material is it? If it's a true article from the 30s and not a throwback shirt from later decades, anywhere from $200 to a couple grand even. You should contact the paper, they might be interested in acquiring it. But eBay would be a good place for it - and you could notify the upper brass of the newspaper it's for sale. You pretty much always get fair market value for items of this nature. Let me know if you auction it.
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby bandito on Fri Feb 26, 2010 6:20 pm

Cool shirt.but I think they got the 8 and the 3 the wrong way round.
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby Vendetta on Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:48 pm

Thanks Jimmy for your thoughts. The label is fastened by single stitch on the left and right side of the tag. The tag itself feels like papery cotton and it seems to be a printed tag. (The words Sport Shirt are not stitched.) As for the shirt itself it feels like a lightweight cotton. The letters 'Blackwell Tribune' seem to be ironed on, but the soap box derby logo and year seems to be printed. Also in the logo the red vertical stripes seem to be the same material as the lettering of 'Blackwell Tribune' just more worn.

I don't see this shirt being a throwback by any means. I know there is to be some skeptics out there, but I truly believe this is the real deal and would even stake my reputation on that statement.

Also, I bought this shirt an estate sale in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The couple that lived past away about five years ago. And their son (who is 65 years of age) took me to the basement and that is where I found this shirt. Being that the man was 65 could put his dad as a young boy around the 30s.

Here is an interesting link on ebay. Another Soap Box Derby shirt from the 50's. Notice how all the words on the shirt are all printed and the logo is bigger in size.
http://bit.ly/9gX5b1

I'm going to continue researching this shirt, but I promise to post any more info I find out on this thread.

Cheers!

PS Bandito...There is 100% no way this shirt was printed in 1983.
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby jimmyj on Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:33 pm

nice! So I take it the base of the shirt would be mass printed and then each event would customize it with their own stuff?

the final test would be to drink from it, if you turn in to a skeleton shortly afterward...it isn't the holy grail of t-shirts.
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby Vendetta on Sat Feb 27, 2010 4:14 pm

You are spot on Jimmy. I also believe they were mass printed and then sent to the cities which were participating in the derby.

Click the history tab from this link for more info: www.aasbd.org (I will be contacting them as well.)

Lastly, well played on the Indiana Jones reference! :lol:

"But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you."
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby jimmyj on Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:29 pm

Cool! Both cars are #7 but I noticed there's slight variation as far as the design to the car too...which can help pre-date it to the 50s version on ebay. Car related Americana can be pretty valuable...although...not sure if soap box's apply.

Image
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby bandito on Sun Feb 28, 2010 4:29 am

Vendetta wrote:Thanks Jimmy for your thoughts. The label is fastened by single stitch on the left and right side of the tag. The tag itself feels like papery cotton and it seems to be a printed tag. (The words Sport Shirt are not stitched.) As for the shirt itself it feels like a lightweight cotton. The letters 'Blackwell Tribune' seem to be ironed on, but the soap box derby logo and year seems to be printed. Also in the logo the red vertical stripes seem to be the same material as the lettering of 'Blackwell Tribune' just more worn.

I don't see this shirt being a throwback by any means. I know there is to be some skeptics out there, but I truly believe this is the real deal and would even stake my reputation on that statement.

Also, I bought this shirt an estate sale in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The couple that lived past away about five years ago. And their son (who is 65 years of age) took me to the basement and that is where I found this shirt. Being that the man was 65 could put his dad as a young boy around the 30s.

Here is an interesting link on ebay. Another Soap Box Derby shirt from the 50's. Notice how all the words on the shirt are all printed and the logo is bigger in size.
http://bit.ly/9gX5b1

I'm going to continue researching this shirt, but I promise to post any more info I find out on this thread.

Cheers!

PS Bandito...There is 100% no way this shirt was printed in 1983.

Why would anyone sew an 80's style label into a '30's shirt?
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby lord ched on Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:53 am

Because it might not be an 80's label. The 1980s were the beginning of the mania for retro-imitation- postmodernism, isn't it called? - where the styles of the past were ransacked and re-sold to current consumers: the reason it looks like an 80's tag is because it's the original referent being imitated by the Reagan-era copies. "Sport Shirt" is a very nonspecific label name that could have happened in any time period (the 80s would have something far cutesier), and it's in black and white- an 80s tag would have more than one colour, likely pastels.
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Re: Is This The Holy Grail of Vintage Tees???

Postby Johnny65 on Mon Mar 01, 2010 11:15 pm

Throwing in my 2 cents.

In my humble opinion. No way that tee is from 1938.

To me the generic printed tag, construction of the garment and the overall condition indicate this piece is not 72 years old.

Sorry. :roll:
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