This handbag carries the legacies of so many men and women who have served in our military and supported them.
Like those veterans and families who served in the Korean War. (1950-1953)
As a company that recycles military materials and provides mobile, flexbile income to modern day military spouses we often come across some amazing pieces – full of history!
A greatcoat, also known as a watch coat, is a large overcoat that is typically made of wool designed for warmth and protection against the weather. It was popular in the 19th century as a military uniform and casual wear for the wealthy and is still issued for inclement weather by many armed forces around the world. This one came to us by way of John D. L., USAF RET.
This USAF Greatcoat issued to its owner in 1955, just two years after the Korean War ended in a stalemate. This coat is a reminder of generations that came before. Those who served, those who fought and sacrificed and a changing landscape for an entire generation of military wives. In the 1950s, wives were seen as part of the package and encouraged to support their husbands—and the military—more directly. By creating a sense of community and boosting morale, military officials claimed, wives would themselves “contribute to military goals” and aid “in national defense and assistance to allies.”
“The enclosed USAF Great Coat was issued to me in June of 1955. The first year I was stationed in upstate NY and it came in handy. However, the next 3 years were spent in the heat of Mississippi and the warm southernmost main island in Japan, Kyushu. It was very useful when I spent 4 days in S. Korea in January 1959 (brrrr). Although I only used it 4 days after April 1996 I was required to keep it with me at all assignments until discharge.” -John D. L.
Fast Forward to 2021.
This coat finds its way to the hands of a Remote Riveter who near Ft. Benning, GA. Nearly 70 years later, it’s rediscovered, taken apart and then stitched back together by the hands of a modern day military spouse whose family has served for 20 years in the US Army. As she breathes new life into this jacket, she stamps her RRID (RR102) onto the tag and becomes part of the story.
Off it goes to the next stop.
Ft. Bragg, NC. At the flagship store, it starts to take on its final shape. Handles get sewn, zippers affixed, base constructed. The one-of-a-kind R. Riveter Otto comes to life by the hands of 2 local Riveters. A military veteran (RR150) and a military kid, not so much a kid anymore, (RR152) stamp with stories of their own add their RRIDs to the bag and place the finished leather strap on the brass rings.
This USAF Greatcoat has seen the world, if only from the inside of a trunk or tucked into a duffel, from Korea to New York state. Today, as its been re-invented, we hope it will remind everyone who comes into contact with it of the stories we’ve been told, the stories we’ll never know and the duty we have to keep honoring its tale.
So much more than the bag - multiple generations of military families, unique stories of service all coming together over the rich history and imaginings of this 1955 issued greatcoat. Who will write the next chapter?
100% of those proceeds will go to the American Legion Auxiliary.
The Otto is arguably R.Riveter’s most popular and iconic handbag. With an adjustable crossbody strap and functional handles, the Otto is an incredible bag for any occasion. Wear it on your shoulder with a shortened strap, carry it by the handles, or sling it across your body as a hands-free crossbody bag!
- Height 12" x Opening Width 13" x Depth 4"
- Handle Drop 5"
- Weight 1.48 lbs
- Exterior is made from up-cycled USAF greatcoat
- Genuine, full grain Riveter Brown Leather
- Leather Bottom with Brass Feet
- Zipper Closure
- Adjustable leather cross body strap, from 40.5-50 inches
- Width of strap is 1 inch
- 2 Leather market handles
- Two exterior open slip pockets
- Cotton stripe Lining
- Two interior open slip pockets, One zipper pocket
INSPIRATION BEHIND THE NAME - "The Otto"
The Otto was named after one of the original Rosie the Riveter’s, Mrs. Elinor Otto. When WWII began and men were pulled away from their jobs to serve their country, Mrs. Otto was one of the nearly 6 million women who went to work to keep the country moving forward. She worked until 2014 when she was laid off when the BOEING Plant shut down operations. She was responsible for working on every single C-17 plane that went through that plant.
The Otto is a special handbag. Not only does it pay homage to an incredible woman who helped pave the way for 21st century working women, it also empowers military spouses today. Each part and piece of the Otto is handcrafted by military spouses across the country, allowing them to earn flexible, mobile income in a transient life with their soldier.
All bids are reflected in USD and the final checkout will be processed in USD.
Opening Bid = $150 USD
Minimum bid increment = $20 USD
Bidding closes tonight, JAN 12th, at 9:00PM EST and will rollover till the last bid stands for 5 minutes (no sniping rule in effect).
You MUST submit your bid via comment on the official post only. All subsequent bids must be submitted as a NEW comment and NOT a reply to your old comment. We will not accept bids via DM or email.
Winning bid total is inclusive of shipping to the Continental US and APO. International winners will pay a flat rate of $40 USD for shipping. The winner will have 24 hours upon issuance of an invoice to remit full payment. Failure to send full payment results in the bag going to the next highest bidder.