Vintage Jack Tar from Mendocino’s Friends of Health

Classic Jack Tar Sailor Suit
Jack Tar Togs Style 1201

FORT BRAGG, Calif. – As we put the Jack Tar Togs brand history back together, we are grateful for samples of the original clothing. We received an inquiry about the history of the brand from Dr. Gin Kremen, DDS, a volunteer from Mendocino County’s Friends Of Hospice.

Dr. Kremen contacted us whens she found a historic Jack Tar Togs sailor suit that had been donated to their local thrift store in a box of vintage baby clothes. The volunteer store manager had first thought that they were doll clothes, but then they looked online and found the history of Jack Tar.

“In this old wooden box were three sailor suits, one marked Jack Tar Togs with the Rub ‘em, Tub ‘em, Scrub ‘em motto,” said Kremen.

The suit is of a very heavy cotton, and the shorts are held up by blue buttons. The Navy style striped piping is all methodically stitched linen. Even the shirt’s Navy patch, with two chevrons indicating a petty officer second class ranking, was carefully embroidered in silk. The suit is a basic Jack Tar Togs model, advertised by the Saturday Evening Post in 1923 for a startling $3.95. It was the Jack Tar Togs “Style No. 1201” described as being:

Made “Made of standard white jean, trousers of colored suiting. Trimmed with white linen tape, silk embroidered emblems, stars on collar, Lanyard and whistle. Size 2 to 8 years. If your dealer hasn’t it, we’ll send it to you on receipt of price, if you will give his name.”

Jack Tar Togs at, 1923, Saturday Evening Post

It came with a whistle!

Needs in Northern California

A donor gave it to Friends of Hospice, now undergoing a name change to Friends of Health, as they have expanded their mission to do more than help hospice patients. The charity assists those in Mendocino who need help when they nearing the end of life, or somehow they are not able to care for themselves. They are an agency that other health/safety based organizations rely on.  

Dr. Gin Kremen

“This is a very economically stressed area,” said Kremen in a note, “previously lumbering and fishing dependent, which have both died out, and we rely heavily on tourism.” Some things the charity has done recently:

  • The agency helped a woman who was in the hospital for three months, and behind on rent.
  • They have delivered firewood, paid for massages and gas cards for traveling out of area for treatment, paid for hotels, even paid for a child’s birthday party as a last wish.
  • Hospice also supports a weekly support group. “It is such a comfort and blessing for so many,” said Kremen. “I went for months years ago when I lost my own mother.”  

Friends of Hospice works with no paid staff and a board of six, the youngest of whom is 71.

Agency Needs Support

Go to Friends of Hospice to learn a bit about what they are doing and how they make their non-profit model work to support the hurting. Make a donation. Even a SMALL donation will give you the satisfaction of making a true difference in one person’s life when they are truly down. Jack Tar Togs made a small donation in thanks for the sending of the sailor suit; we heard that it had helped with a patient who needed to get to treatment in San Francisco.

Do check out their website:

As we grow, we hope to reproduce original pieces, in addition to our current inventory of boys wear.