MEARS Auction #134, Ends Saturday, February 8th, 2020, 10:00 PM CST W/30-Minute Rule In Effect
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/8/2020

Offered for this lot is a very rare 1940s Green Bay Packers sweater, the first of this style handled by MEARS. Manufactured by O'Shea Knitting Mills, the vintage tag is sewn in collar with player number 8 sewn to the front left bottom. "PACKERS" has been professionally restored across the reverse. Sweater was originally issued with "PACKERS" on the reverse, though it was removed at some point & replaced with "WEST”.

The shirt originated from the collection of Dominic Gentile.

Dating: Per the book, “Packers Legends In Fact, 1921-1925” by Eric Goska, on page 59 the 1943 staff is pictured wearing a long sleeve jacket with double stripes on the cuffs and collar. We use this as the approximate start date of the jacket style. Our research found the style being worn during the following seasons of which available images were found:

1943 (Style Match) Long Sleeve, double yellow stripes on collar and sleeve cuffs

1944 (Style Match) Long Sleeve, double yellow stripes on collar and sleeve cuffs

1945 (Style Match) Long Sleeve, double yellow stripes on collar and sleeve cuffs

1946 Jackets issued with no striping

1947 Jackets issued with single stripe

Therefore, we are dating the jacket to have been issued from the 1943-1945 era. Although that is date range the style was issued, the jacket may have been worn by players past the 1945 era. MEARS is confident this jacket was 100% issued by the team during the 1943-1945 era to be worn by the Green Bay Packers players. We know this was issued to a player, not a coach, due to the fact #8 is sewn on the left, lower front.


1943 Bob Kahler

1944 Bob Kahler

1945 Russ Mosley

Therefore, we believe this jacket was issued to either or both Bob Kahler and Russ Mosley.

Dominic Gentile was a long time trainer with the team and gifted this jacket to the Milwaukee West football team where the original PACKERS name was removed and “WEST” was added. Upon careful review, original traces of “PACKERS” could be found and allowed us to perfectly restore this shirt back to its original 1943-1945 condition. The provenance was provided by our consignor who is a lifetime Milwaukee area dealer and collector and personally obtained the sweater locally in Milwaukee.

The restoration work was completed by Bill Henderson of the Dream Shop. Bill provided the following details of his highly professional job:

On Wed, Aug 14, 2019 at 10:05 PM Bill Henderson/The Dream Shop wrote:

“Good news, with very careful scrutiny I can see the outline on the sweater of the original “P” from the damage and sewing repair its removal left behind. I was able to verify the exact size of the lettering, and I can tell it is just like the example I found. You can see the direct scan of the lettering, below, and how I fixed the distortion.” This is important in the documenting the original issuance to the Green Bay Packers. Henderson went on to state-


I finished this late this evening. I was able to match several replacement letters to direct glue marks and fabric tears, so I know we have this looking as it did when new. The whole wordmark is shifted 1/2” to the right of center, but that’s the way it appears to have been sewn back then; not uncommon really. The “WEST” glue marks faded with light cleaning but are not completely gone. I do not believe it would have been wise to be more aggressive with this fabric, given its age and condition.”

Upon final inspection, the restoration is flawless and meets the highest of critical standards. Based on the style, provenance, dating per style, and visible traces of the original team name, MEARS is 100% confident to attribute this shirt as being issued and worn by the Green Bay Packers during the 1943-1945 era. A MEARS LOA signed by Troy R. Kinunen will accompany this lot.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $500
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,113
Number Bids: 6
Auction closed on Saturday, February 8, 2020.
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