“The secret thoughts of an entire country were once carried in leather bags exactly like this one. Except this one, a copy, isn’t under lock and key…”..yada,, yada, yada…
When I first came across this bag I was concerned that I had heard after years of being parodied on Seinfeld, the J. Peterman Company had gone under. As it turns out there is a story there. J. Peterman was started in 1987 by a Lexington Kentucky native and second baseman for the Pittsburg Pirates, John Peterman. With $500 and a lone product, the iconic J. Peterman Duster, the J. Peterman Company was born in the pages of the New Yorker with a simple ad. The ad, of course, used a battered drawing and cozy familiar copy to sell these dusters to New Yorker readers that never went near a horse nor sagebrush. Success came to J. Peterman and they regularly issued their clever catalogs with the hand drawings and the digressive and quirky writing. Things purred along until 1995 when Seinfeld and friends got their hands on the whole smarmy concept and began to satirize it. Sales skyrocketed and J. Peterman decided to go the bricks and mortar route. Even with sales of $75 million, the growth was too much, too fast. They did go banko in 1999. The name was bought up by another retailer. J. Peterman folded his duster for the last time. But like a Larry David script, that was not the end of it. The retailer who had forced John Peterman out then himself went bankrupt. The name was there to be recaptured. John Peterman called in Seinfeld’s J. Peterman, the actor John O’Hurley, and with some other investors, brought the fabled J. Peterman company back to life.
So needless to say there is still a J.Peterman Catalog for you to peruse and dream of your African Safari wearing, of course, your well worn J. Peterman Safari Jacket. I was disappointed to find no mention of a duster, though.
Oh, the Mailbag. Not a bad carryall. Truly a good copy of the now discontinued US Mailbag. Made of heavy cowhide with a raw finish that ages quickly.
15″ long x 12.5″ tall x 7:” wide. One cavernous interior pouch and a small 5 x 8″ zippered pocket. Nice sturdy leather strap with heavy duty buckles.
Sling it on and make your rounds.