Vulcanized Rubber Overcoat/Shoulder Cape


This particular model cape was designed to cover the shoulder to about mid length on the arm and was also marketed extensively to troops for use with the overcoat. It fits nicely over the dismounted overcoat cape without creating significant bulk or weight and leaves the wearer’s lower arms and accoutrement unencumbered for the duties of the day. (weighs in at just over 18 oz) It can also be employed by itself over any coat or on the overcoat in lieu of the wool cape. (quite appropriate for the civilian as well) Vulcanized rubber capes were made by many different manufacturers during the pre-war and wartime period in many different configurations as evidenced by the many advertisements for such goods extant. Worn extensively by civilian and military alike – a cottage industry for them was built from the Wide Awake movement alone which popularized the cape of this length. (see two original images of soldier wearing this type, also a photo of my old field service cloak coat with the rubber cape placed over the cloak cape) Of course, these capes could be worn by the ladies as well, although generally the collar on women’s capes, when present, were more diminutive. (as an excellent single source on the subject we are happy to recommend Mike Woshner’s “India-Rubber and Gutta-Percha in the Civil War Era) Of the many makers advertising the product, the Rubber Clothing Company had possibly the widest spread distribution with stores and factories from Chicago to Boston. Interior is stamped with their mark and the neck size. This is the ticket for those cold rainy days when the overcoat is still needed, or the wet snow days that soak through the shoulder of the overcoat and make the wearer miserable. An essential for Guard Duty in such conditions. Made of vulcanized cotton drill, just as period advertisements offered, with a fold over collar which can be turned up against the weather. Sewn construction with hand sewn button holes and vulcanize rubber covered buttons with tin back. Five button front with a flat felled back seam. Skirt is hemmed. Shoulder Cape SIZING INFORMATION: There is very little variance on the length of these capes, the neck is the operative measurement. They are full capes and could accommodate virtually any size chest. (they still take a significant amount of costly material to make) The necks are made roomy to accommodate fitting over the coat collar. (neck measurements are button hole center to center of button, which could be moved for bit more room – please order the correct cape based on neck size below) The length varies only 1/4 inch from neck size to neck size being 19 1/2″, 19 3/4″, and 20” respectively from collar seam. Limited run.