About 15 years ago I bought a motorcycle jacket from a local thrift shop. I was intrigued by its padded elbows and shoulders, which sported a marvelous scuffed-and-buffed patina. I figured the jacket had seen better days, but I never gave a second thought to its age—or value. Until recently, that is, when I chanced upon a couple library books about the history of biker apparel.
In Motorcycle Jackets: Ultimate Bikers’ Fashions, I spotted a garment that looked like mine. Reading further, I learned that this “Padded Cascade” style originated with Langlitz Leathers, a small family business in Portland, Oregon. One of the oldest and most venerable biker outfitters, this company used white labels for most of its history (beginning in 1947), except for a brief period during 1950-56 when the labels were green. Continue reading “Library Book Leads to “Antiques Roadshow” Moment!”