lee jeans longjohnHow I Got My Hands On This Deadstock Lee Kids Jeans

Last year I came across this beautiful deadstock Lee kids jeans from the 1940s on eBay. I won the auction and bought the jeans. The good thing is that I came in contact with the owner of the jeans, Nancy Carr, who’s living currently in Canton, Missouri (U.S.A.). To come in contact with the seller isn’t always easy as eBay blocks a lot of these conversations is my experience, but this time I had luck.

Nancy Carr was sharing some extra information about the jeans. She told for example that these Lee jeans was a present when she was born in 1947. So, it was her birth present. The coolest gift you can get in my opinion. Teach them young, right?!

On her birth certification you can see that she was born on the 24th of February in 1947.

The jeans is never worn by Nancy, so it’s still in deadstock (unworn) condition after all those 73 years. The holy grail for most collectors. She has moved quite a lot during her lifetime, and the jeans moved with her each time. Until last year, it was time for her to let the jeans go, and luckily I got my hands on it to include it in my denim archive. Since then, the jeans is named: ‘Nancy Carr 1947’.

The Lee kid’s jeans is from a later production run than my other 1930s version, which also has the cinch back for example. Read more about these specific jeans here in the previous article.

A Closer Look On The Jeans

The jeans is in an unused condition, so deadstock. The fabric is still crispy, and stiff. The front of the Lee kids cowboys jeans.

lee 1947

lee 1947

Union Made Label

Waistband label shows Union Made with Sanforized stitched in the classic black/red/yellow Lee colours. If you look closely you will see that Lee is stitched with the so called ‘looking-up ee’s’. The waistband label is placed in the center.

lee 1930

Long L On The Button

The top button of the jeans shows Union Made and Lee is written with a long L.

lee 1947

Unbranded Closure Button

As it is a kids jeans it has only 1 button at the closure, net to the top button. The closure button is unbranded, something common in this production period.

lee 1947

Branded Crotch Rivet

The closure is strength with a Lee branded crotch rivet. The crotch rivet disappeared during World War 2 at most of the jeans. This was because everyone had to save materials for war. Another myth is that the crotch rivet dissappeared because cowboys would burn their crotch while sitting to close at a campfire and the rivet became too hot ; )

lee 1947

lee 1947

Suspenders Holes

In the waistband are button holes, so you can wear the jeans with suspenders too. This is quite common at smaller kids/toddler jeans.

lee 1947

lee 1947

Non-Selvedge Right-Hand Fabric

The jeans is made from non-selvedge right-hand fabric.

In fact, the chance is that they’re made with selvedge fabric, as wider looms, Projectile looms, weren’t up and running until the early 1950s. As this jeans has felled in- and outseams, for extra durability, you can’t see the selvedge line. But, if someone has more info about this, please shoot an e-mail to: wouter@long-john.nl

lee jeans

The Back

The back side of the jeans.

lee 1947

Five Belt Loops

Next to the five belt loops the jeans has button holes for a suspender. Unfortunately the Lee leather patch is removed, which was originally stitched on the top right of the waistband.

lee jeans

Shield Shaped Pockets

The back pockets has the legendary Lee shield shaped pockets. The round shaped pockets refer to the adults versions, first made for Cowboys. They were made to last longer while riding their horse. So, for kids they used these pockets too, but without the long horn, better known as the Lazy S, back pocket stitching. On the pocket they used the double ‘flat-line’ stitching.

lee 1947

lee 1947

lee 1947

X Bartacks

The backpockets are reinforced with X bartacks for extra strength. They didn’t used rivets on it as these would scratch the leather horse saddles.

lee 1947

lee 1947

Penburn Patch

The legendary Penburn patch is still on the jeans. And the good thing is that it’s branded too! How it should be. The Penburn leather patch was added on the jeans so people could burn their own name, nickname, wranchname or whatever on it. You could go to your local Lee dealer who had a brander to get it done.

On this pair, the name of the previous owner, Nancy June Legg was burn.

lee 1947

lee 1947

Vintage Penburn Card

Vintage Penburn card with the instructions how it works.

lee penburn

Back Pocket Tag

Inside the right back pocket there’s a washed out Amalgamated Garment Workers of America Tag.

lee 1947

www.lee.com

Read also about the history of Lee Cowboys jeans here and about the Riders jacket here.

If you’re interested in showcasing your brand or product on Long John to reach your target audience, read more about it here, or send an email to: wouter@long-john.nl
Written by Wouter Munnichs
I'm the founder of Long John. Next to running this daily magazine I'm working as a freelance marketing specialist for brands and retail. Specialized in denim. Nominated as 'Denim Influencer 2020' by Rivet 50.