Searching for Vintage LL Bean Catalogs (preferably PDF)

DriCamp2

New Member
Hello, I'm researching several vintage LL Bean jackets.

I sure wish I could find some 1970s and 1990s LL Bean catalogs in PDF!

Please let me know if you do...thanks!
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If you're interested in same, here's what I've been able to find online:

1933 Bean Catalog (at the bottom of the page, not the top!)
https://archivalclothing.com/tag/ll-bean/

1936 Bean Catalog:
https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/ll-bean-catalog-fall-1936.38370/
also
https://www.flickr.com/photos/texasgirl_333/sets/72157616886275454/

1948 Bean Catalog (but only 4 pages):
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.632322543490601.1073741864.150920264964167&type=3

1964 Bean catalog:
https://www.reddit.com/r/OldSchoolCool/comments/4426rc/ll_bean_1964_spring_catalog_pdf/
also
https://www.navyblazerclub.com/ll-bean-spring-1964/

1969 Bean Catalog (but only 6 pages):
https://www.acontinuouslean.com/2010/01/14/the-deer-hunter-ll-bean-c-1969/

1982 Bean Catalog:
https://archivalclothing.com/shopping-from-1982-ll-bean/

Early Autumn 1983 Bean Catalog:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9YlPKBbOeG1WGhnTzRDbkl0SUE/view
also at
https://www.reddit.com/r/malefashionadvice/comments/4422d9/ll_bean_catalog_scan_fall_1983_pdf/

1987 Catalog (but only 7 pages):
https://www.etsy.com/listing/231856244/l-l-bean-catalog-christmas-1987-outdoor
 
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DriCamp2

New Member
Yes Actually!

I have several LLB catalogs, dating as far back as 1927. Are you seeking something in particular?

Yes actually! Right now I'm trying to determine when the "Bean's Anorak" (made with 2.5oz 'slick' nylon and parallel vertical seams on chest) was made, and when it morphed into the "Mountain Classic Anorak" (made with Supplex, heavier, and with a keystone shape to the vertical chest seams, which was plentiful in the 1990s). I think the changeover date was either in the late 1980s or early 1990s?

Neither do I have any idea when the start date was for the "Bean's Anorak," could it have started as far back as the 1970s? Just don't know. (I know Bean was making a parka/anorak even earlier, but that was before the kangaroo-pocketed "Bean's Anorak" seen in 1980s catalogs.)

I've seen the vintage 'Bean's Anorak' with product numbers like 1390, 1390B, 1331Q (4277Q womens), 1331R (4277R womens). I know it only came in 3 colors in 1982 (red, green, blue) and 4 colors in 1983 (added tan).
 

gamma68

Honors Member
^ I'll check my catalogs for you. I believe my latest one is Fall 1985. The bulk of mine are from the 1930s-1960s.
 

DriCamp2

New Member
^ I'll check my catalogs for you. I believe my latest one is Fall 1985. The bulk of mine are from the 1930s-1960s.

Oh that's great...1985 would be a good year to know. Wonder if they added colors by '85 or changed the product number.

Thanks much.
 

SG_67

Connoisseur
^ Well, it does include postage.

Ooops! My mistake. I clicked on the link indicating the 1933 catalogue. It did not take me there. It took me to the 1983 catalogue instead.
 
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Fraser Tartan

Senior Member
L.L. Bean customer service may surprise you if you ask them. They have an e-mail form on their web page. They've been quite helpful to me when I've had questions about their vintage items.
 

Fraser Tartan

Senior Member
This is probably obvious, but you can identify the date range of an L.L. Bean item by its L.L. Bean label design. Use their catalogs as a reference.
 
L.L. Bean posts covers of past catalogues on their website

L.L. Bean customer service may surprise you if you ask them. They have an e-mail form on their web page. They've been quite helpful to me when I've had questions about their vintage items.


Yes, L.L. Bean surely has access to the contents of past catalogues because they post the covers of them (dating back to the 1930s) on a section of their website:
 

DriCamp2

New Member
This is probably obvious, but you use identify the date range of an item by its L.L. Bean label design.

I've read that 1940s or 1950s nape labels were black with a gold signature. I've also read green-on-white cursive labels were used in the 1950s, 1960s, and maybe 1970s (one source says into the 1980s). That’s vague for dating. Do you have better info? Do the more modern block logos conform to a timeline, i.e., does an “L.L. Bean Freeport Maine” nape label stop at a certain year, and the “L.L. Bean” take over? When did the "L.L. Bean Since 1912 Quality Guaranteed" appear? This could be useful info!
 

DriCamp2

New Member
L.L. Bean customer service may surprise you if you ask them. They have an e-mail form on their web page. They've been quite helpful to me when I've had questions about their vintage items.

The one time I asked for information on a vintage jacket from LLB-CS, I got shut down fast: "I can't help you with that. I am sorry." Maybe I just got the wrong CS agent. But I think a forum like this, frequented by people who are interested in the topic, probably can reveal all sorts of useful historical information. Clearly, some of you have actual physical catalogs to examine -- nice!!
 
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gamma68

Honors Member
Yes actually! Right now I'm trying to determine when the "Bean's Anorak" (made with 2.5oz 'slick' nylon and parallel vertical seams on chest) was made, and when it morphed into the "Mountain Classic Anorak" (made with Supplex, heavier, and with a keystone shape to the vertical chest seams, which was plentiful in the 1990s). I think the changeover date was either in the late 1980s or early 1990s?

Neither do I have any idea when the start date was for the "Bean's Anorak," could it have started as far back as the 1970s? Just don't know. (I know Bean was making a parka/anorak even earlier, but that was before the kangaroo-pocketed "Bean's Anorak" seen in 1980s catalogs.)

I've seen the vintage 'Bean's Anorak' with product numbers like 1390, 1390B, 1331Q (4277Q womens), 1331R (4277R womens). I know it only came in 3 colors in 1982 (red, green, blue) and 4 colors in 1983 (added tan).

Below is a scan from the Fall 1985 LLB catalog. My next oldest catalogs are from 1971 and they have no Anorak products. I hope this is helpful to you.
 

gamma68

Honors Member
Hey! The LLBean website revealed that the "Sunrise Over Katahdin" Bean logo appeared in 1987...woot! Although this book page says 1988.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/9a/c2/04/9ac204dfe606178e9371291fe869ff40.jpg

I wonder what book that's from, and whether it reveals other label dates?

The book is titled "Guaranteed to Last: L.L. Bean's Century of Outfitting in America." Published in 2012.

I don't believe other label dates are included in the book. But I would like to know when LLB discontinued using the cursive script label so I can more accurately date some of my items.
 

DriCamp2

New Member
Thank You Gamma 68!

Below is a scan from the Fall 1985 LLB catalog...

Thank you SO MUCH Gamma68! Yes, this is very helpful. With your help, here's what I think I know about the older LL Bean Anoraks to date:

(1) There were some really old Gold Cursive nape tag LLB anoraks that we would hardly recognize; parka-like, two very prominent high diagonal hand pockets, cut so low at the hem as to encase the seat. People posting these say they are WWII vintage (specifying use by the 110th Mountain Division) and also 1960s vintage. I've read these oldies are cotton or 60/40. One owner called his "The Labrador Anorak Jacket." Also seen in 1959 catalog as "Bean's Labrador Parka." I know nothing about these...but would love to own one.

(2) The classic LLB Anorak must have started life as "Bean's Anorak" sometime between 1971 and 1982, made of 2.5 oz 'slick' nylon. Its signature visual details are the parallel vertical seams on either side of the chest. Also thanks to the post above, we see it got a new name in 1985, "Bean's Nylon Anorak," to differentiate from a then-new Gore-Tex model (that must be rare now, I've never seen one).

(3) The "Bean's Anorak" or "Bean's Nylon Anorak" may have morphed into the "Mountain Classic Anorak" (and eventually into the "Alpine Classic" or "Aztec" models of the 1990s) about the same time that the 'Sunrise over Katahdin' logo appeared, 1987-1988, although I am not certain. These garments of the 1990s had a keystone shape to the chest seams. I don't know when the 1990s "MCA" and "ACA" were disco'd, but would like to!

(4) The reissued "Mountain Classic Anorak" of 2012-2014 went all the way back to the 1980s (not the 1990s) for its pattern inspiration. It had, once again, the distinctive parallel seams and leather keepers on an internal hood cord. Along with several modern updates.
 
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DriCamp2

New Member
(1) There were some really old LLB anoraks that we would hardly recognize...

1940s%20LLB%20110th%20Mtn%20Division%20Parka%20Anorak_zpsaqay5bth.png
 
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