Saturday, November 08, 2014

Wearing a Mackinaw Coat in a Dearborn Carriage

Jeff from Gulliver asked about the Mackinaw coat and the Dearborn carriage and whether they had a Michigan connection. The answer is yes and no.  

The Mackinaw coat was born when a post trader named John Askin commissioned some local women to sew 40 woolen coats for a British Army post near the Straits of Mackinac. The coats were made from blankets, some of which had a black-on-red plaid pattern.

The Dearborn carriage had no Michigan connection; in fact, it did not derive from a place name at all. It was named after Henry Alexander Dearborn of Massachusetts. At various times, he was a member of the Massachusetts house of representatives and the state senate, and he also served as the mayor of Roxbury, Massachusetts. The carriage that he favored—a light, four-wheeled vehicle with curtained sides—took its name from him.


Other clothing derived from a person’s name include jackets named after Garibaldi, Eisenhower, Mao, and Nehru, along with the cardigan (Crimean War), bloomers, the Wellington boot, the Stetson hat, and the mackintosh.


Hawaiian shirts, Holland linen, the jersey, Capri pants, the balaclava (Crimean War), the bikini, and denim (Nimes, France) take their names from places.

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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