For those of you following the story on Suzy’s need to put a top on her. Here is the latest thing she needs. When we got the top we only could find the metal bars. A gold mine for sure. But no soft top as a reference or pattern. There is one pattern but its up in Ohio tucked away and from the 20 or so shots that we have of the original top, we can get it real close now that we have the bars. We are also redoing the top in the original style canvas. BUT, since we are starting fresh, it would be cool to match up the zipper to the original. If God is in the details, I now need him to look at Suzy’s zipper. SO.. how can you help. First if any of you have an original top from the late 50’s or early 60’s. What is the manufacturer of your beloveds zipper? Now… to add to the mayhem, fellow CCABC member Reg Down did his usual over research on Zippers. Below is the posting from Boat Buzz on the topic.
Mr. Smith – Vintage metal zipper branding and manufacturer identification is almost an art form that, up until today, I have never thought about before.
As shown in the below photos, almost all metal zipper manufacturers since the advent of the zipper have developed a creative brand / logo which was shown on the zipper “Pull Tab” but not always shown on the zipper “Bottom Stop” which you have included in your original photo (above).
Up until the 1960’s Talon was a major American zipper designer / manufacturer before being sold to Textron. Many of the creative Talon brands / logos had a square-ish script design and “Pull Tab” design but of the hundreds of Talon photos I reviewed, none had the exact style of logo as shown in your “Bottom Stop” photo.
However, photos of vintage period “Bottom Stops” are difficult to find. Also because of the physical size of the “Bottom Stops” the zipper manufacturers may not have incorporated the same logo on the “Bottom Stop” as they did on the “Pull Tab.”
YKK zippers started in Japan in 1934 and opened their first office in the USA in 1960 and today are the leading zipper manufacturer in the world. But because they didn’t begin to focus their energy on the American market until 1960, they may not have been a supplier of zippers for a 1960 Chris-Craft canvas top pre-1960.
Other metal zipper manufacturers from that period include Coats and Clarkes (C&C), Kwik, Nobility, and Crown.
So to answer your question regarding a possible zipper manufacturer for your canvas top, it may help to either locate a photo of the original zipper “Pull Tab” (easy for me to say) or find someone who has an original canvas top with the original zipper so the manufacturer’s name can be identified on the “Pull Tab”. There are probably some original Chris-Craft Sea Skiffs of the same vintage / period with a similar style / size canvas top.
I will continue to research this, and probably every time I use a zipper will look on the “Pull Tab” for the name. Maybe the nice folks over at Woody Boater can also reach out to vintage canvas top owners for a possible zipper identification.
Here’s a link to the history of Talon American zippers.