Thursday, February 28, 2013


It's always nice to see items we've sold being used and loved, especially nice when they appear in respected magazines like LIGHTNING. This vintage 1940's BUCHEIMER Leather Safety Wallet was sold via The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. at The Rose Bowl Flea Market to respected local denim & canvas artisan and fellow vintage aficionado Michael Hodis of RISING SUN & CO. The wallet was recently spotted in Lightning Magazine #3 Vol.227 as part of a piece titled "Please show me your item", related to this years BREAD & BUTTER trade show in Berlin.  Usually referred to as Biker or Trucker wallets, this particular version with its BUCHEIMER MADE SINCE 1884 engraved style snaps was a tough piece to let go (like so many items we sell), luckily another similar wallet was found to replace it.
Small gauge brass or gold gilt plated chain secured to wallet with s type hook
Engraved or filled letter type nickle plated snap
NYNCO heavy duty brass zipper
Photos from Lightning Magazine 2013 #3 Vol. 227 courtesy of Lightning Magazine
This near mint BUCHEIMER wallet shares the same design, snaps and heavy duty NYNCO zipper as the wallet sold to Michael. Heavier gauge nickle plated chain that is secured to wallet with o-ring looks to be the only difference.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Vintage 1950s BIG SMITH Denim Engineer Jacket

1950s era BIG SMITH Engineer Jacket sold via The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. Details include rear side buckle adjustors, raglan sleeves, short version with vest-jacket styling, SANFORIZED indigo denim and red gold & black machine loomed BIG SMITH rayon tag. Union Made by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Vintage BIG BEN Salt & Pepper Convert Cloth Work Jacket

The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. had the pleasure of hooking up customer and San Fernando Valley resident Kelly with this vintage 1960s era BIG BEN brand work jacket at The Rose Bowl Flea Market this past Sunday. A simple cossack style short jacket constructed of salt & pepper twist twill cotton fabric (originally referred to as convert cloth) with quilted liner and Talon zipper that will be right at home as part of Kelly's big rig working uniform.
It's always great to see a favorite piece matched up with an appreciative and knowledgeable buyer; it's precisely these type of customers that bring a smile and remind us of just why we work hard to share our passion for vintage workwear.

BLUE BELL / BIG BEN / Wrangler company history.

1897 - 20-year old C.C. Hudson leaves Spring Hill Farm in Williamson County, Tennessee seeking fortune in the emerging textile town of Greensboro, North Carolina. He finds work in an overall factory sewing on buttons for 25 cents a day.
1904 - Hudson's workplace closes. He and a few others buy several sewing machines from the closing company. C.C. Hudson and his brother Homer form the Hudson Overall Company, operating from a loft over Coe Brothers Grocery on South Elm Street in Greensboro.
1919 - Sales of Hudson overalls are booming. The company moves to a larger headquarters and changes its name to Blue Bell Overall Company.
1926 - Big Ben Manufacturing of Kentucky (Est. 1915) purchases Blue Bell for $585,000. The name of the merged companies remains Blue Bell; headquarters remain in Greensboro.
1936 - Blue Bell introduces Super Big Ben Overalls, featuring 100% Sanforized fabric that reduces shrinkage to less than 1%, setting a new standard for the industry.
1947 - Blue Bell Inc. files U.S. federal trademark registration for Big Ben on Oct. 7.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


The truck seen below just happened to roll by as we were hand screening our new SFV MERCANTILE / MADE IN USA tee. Mere coincidence?
1940's era MADE IN USA logo, water based ink print on ring spun cotton Made in USA tee. Locally cut, sewn and screened. Support local business!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. is proud to participate in the DENIM BRUIN event this weekend in San Francisco CA. Our BEAR BRAND ENGINEER and WORKMAN CAPS will be for sale at AB Fits located at 1519 Grant Ave in San Francisco on Saturday July 28 along side other MADE IN CALIFORNIA brands including our much respected neighbors from the Los Angeles area MISTER FREEDOM and RISING SUN
Michael and Charla Harris will also be sharing special pieces of 19th century workwear along with offering signed copies of Michael's must have book "Jeans of the Old West" at Roy Slaper's (ROY DENIM) Miniature Museum located at 489 23rd St in Oakland CA from 6:30-9:00 PM.

In conjunction with the sale at AB Fits we are pleased to offer a free BEAR BRAND ENGINEER and WORKMAN CAP logo tee free with purchase of any BEAR BRAND ENGINEER and WORKMAN CAP from The San Fernando Valley Mercantile Co. online store.
A tip of the cap to Mark Randal for doing the heavy lifting and making it all possible.

Caps are locally cut & sewn and tees are locally cut, sewn and hand screened. Tees are constructed of ring spun cotton in both fine jersey and slub variations.  Available colors are black and blue, both with antique white BEAR BRAND train engine discharge print logo. Colors and sizes subject to availability on a first purchased basis. Contact for size & style availability.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Tees in the Mercantile Store now including INDIAN DUNES “CHIEF MOTOCROSS”


• 100% combed ring spun cotton made in USA tee in white.
• INDIAN DUNES Valencia California “Chief Motocross” 1970’s logo with front print in red. 
• Hand screened in Southern California using water based ink for a vintage look and feel that will fade naturally with use.
• Available in both short and long sleeve in sizes Small, Medium, Large & XL (size 2XL coming soon)
• Proudly Made in USA

If you grew up in Southern California specifically in the San Fernando Valley in the 1960’s -1980’s and rode a dirt bike or raced motocross then you most likely spent time at Indian Dunes Motorcycle Park, located a stones throw from world famous Magic Mountain in Valencia, California. The International and Shadow Glen motocross tracks at Indian Dunes provided the setting for many great times and memories for yours truly and this tee takes us back to those glory days. 

Many thanks to our good friend Kenny for providing time during his busy Sunday morning to model some tees.