It seems like a while since we last looked at some Indian 37 pattern webbing, so tonight we are going to take a look at a pair of Indian made shoulder braces:These two braces are made by different manufacturers, but share some common characteristics. Both has the distinctive ‘striped’ webbing typical of Indian manufacture. Note also the three part construction of the shoulder braces:This design was adopted because the machinery in India could not do the reduction weaving that Mills in England could do so a different method of assembly was needed. Both these braces are clearly stamped, one with a letter and number code:The ‘N’ indicates that the length is ‘normal’. The other shoulder brace is marked with the manufacturer’s name ‘Bata’:My thanks to Karkee for the following potted history of Bata and its webbing marking:
Czechoslovak industrialist Tomas Bata set up the first experimental shoe production plant in Konnagar, West Bengal with 75 Czechoslovak experts in 1931. Jan Antonin Bata then built an industrial manufacturing city called Batanagar (near Konnagar) in 1934 and another factory in Bataganj in the Digha neighborhood of Patna, the capital of the Bihar state in 1942. Bata webbing often features a letter code of ‘N’ or ‘D’ after the date, which may represent different factories. Other markings include the maker mark (B.S.C. in 1941-42 and BATA in 1943), date and inspector mark (often in the form of C↑##).
Here we can see Bata Shoe Company Factory in Batanagar, West Bengal:Note the slogan ‘Keep Smiling’ painted on the gable ends of the factory buildings. This rather wonderful advert for the company dates to 1945 and celebrates the company’s part in the war: