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I saw an organ grinder type with his monkey a few months ago while in San Francisco they usually don't do the organ anymore but I've saw them do that before as well it was nearly 20 years ago though, I've heard its quite common in New York City and quite a few places in Europe, do they outlaw it in the UK?
The Monkey jacket was originally naval uniform. There're several references to them in 'Moby dick':
At last some four or five of us were summoned to our meal in an adjoining room. It was cold as Iceland -- no fire at all -- the landlord said he couldn't afford it. Nothing but two dismal tallow candles, each in a winding sheet. We were fain to button up our monkey jackets, and hold to our lips cups of scalding tea with our half frozen fingers.
Not sure of the derivation, but 'monkey' was often used as a diminutive e.g., monkey-rope, powder monkey. The original style of jacket was not like today's (or more accurately, yesteryear's) monkey jacket, though. My guess is that our monkey jacket is not descended from the naval one, but the term 'monkey' (meaning short) has been borrowed from seafarer's jargon.
btw: I remember squirrel monkeys in little short jackets (and fezzes) at circuses and fairs. Haven't seen one for years, on a barrel organ or otherwise). Must be illegal in the UK at least now.
Hello, i am a 55 year old bloke from Bristol ,i came online looking for a pair of longwing brogues (still looking) and found this thread.
I have read the thread right through (finished yesterday) and its been a brilliant few days,brought back so many memories.
In work we have conversations about the clothes and shoes in the 60s/70s and how much more stylish and smarter people where then.
I still wear some of the same style of clothes that i wore in 1970/71,i was only 12 or 13 then i didnt get a suit or a crombie (i had a crombie later on).
One item mentioned was steel combs,i had forgotten all about them,we called the girls ones "rat tails" (the ones with a spike for a handle).
A funny coincidence is that i remember pressuredrop on here from school (he must have been 2 years above me) he always looked very smart and we wanted to copy him and his mates style.
I look about me now and see so many scruffy gits (not only youngsters either) it can be a bit depresssing,its good to have found some people with a smarter attitude.
Gert lush...I consider myself Bristolian myself, although I wasn't actually born there, and I don't live in Bristle now. But will be coming home in a couple of weeks for a jar of Thatcher's or Smile's or something.
The first time that i saw these jackets called monkey jackets was in Micky Smiths book Want some aggro?,i was curious so i looked online and saw the jackets that we called golf or golfing jackets back then.I have been thinking about buying one from e;bay a navy blue jacket with white and sky blue trim,the seller is urbancoutureclothingltd,does anyone know anything about the jackets and can you recommend them (or warn against). The other jacket i was interested to see mentioned in Micky Smiths book was the leather us air force jacket,he actually says his got slashed with a knife at a football match.He also mentions the West Ham v Man Utd match that Bob the badger talked about in his post on here.
Hi cerneabbas, What does Micky Smith write about the Man Utd game? I haven't read the book and it seems to get bad reviews. He is about the same age as me so I suppose he was at the game. I knew a Micky Smith, but didn't we all?
Had a girlfriend from Bristol in the mid 70's. A small group of us used to travel down to Torquay on a Bank Holiday and meet up with groups from Bristol and Birmingham in 'the Yacht' pub. No aggro then. just debauchery.
Hello Bob the badger,Micky Smith says the same as you,Man utd got in the North bank early and stayed there (he also said that they got turned over outside and at Mile end tube station).
The book is based on his diary so its not a literary masterpiece but bits are interesting a few descriptions of changing fashion and football related aggro in the late 60s early 70s,if you can get a cheap copy off e bay its worth a read.
Think you could both be right here. A couple of online dictionaries I've looked at give definition of "monkey jacket" as short, close-fitting jacket worn by sailors, waiters & officers in mess and one gives origin of that usage as 1820 - 1830 "from its resemblance to a jacket worn by an organ- grinder's monkey".
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