Friday, November 15, 2013

National Leather Manufacturing Company Catalog 1953

I was very excited when I found this, a retailer catalog for National Leather Manufacturing Co., Inc. of Brooklyn, NY, as it features several children's bags that I have long wondered about. The catalog lists a wide variety of leather bags and brief cases for business use, but has a large section devoted to Disney bags in the first six pages, along with some other character bags following (I especially like the Captain Video bag).
There is an emphasis on Peter Pan, as that was the new film they were promoting with this catalog (dated January 1953).  According to Tomart, they were a licensee starting in 1951, so it is likely that the Alice bags were available as part of Alice's release, although until a catalog is found from that period it is only speculation.
Of primary interest to me are, of course, the Alice bags, starting with WD30 pictured above, the Alice in Wonderland schoolbag.  Listed as coming in assorted colors and plaid twill, rubberized.  The art is so-so, and as you see, is the only art used on the entire line..
Next up is WD10, the Alice in Wonderland shoulder bag, and WD20, the Alice in Wonderland Utility Bag.  The shoulder bag is essentially the same material and construction as the schoolbag, but the Utility Bag is a vinyl bag, looks kinda like a smallish bowling bag.
Finally WD37, the Alice in Wonderland schoolbag with shoulder strap rather than handles, and no pencil pocket.
Prices listed here are per dozen, which boils down to wholesale pricing per bag as follows:

WD30 - $1.00
WD10 - $0.40
WD20 - $0.90
WD37 - $0.56

$1 in 1951 dollars is equal to about $9 in 2013 dollars, figure that retail markup is about 2x, yields retail pricing on these bags as follows:

WD30 - $18.00
WD10 - $7.20
WD20 - $16.10
WD37 - $10.08

I guess that looks about right.  Stay tuned for more on these National Leather bags.

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