Vintage late 1920s through early 1930s Arts & Crafts tooled leather wallet features an acorn-and-oak leaf motif on the front, and is associated with a trove of Prohibition-era lore. The wallet has two boarded leather pockets on the exterior of the billfold compartment, which is lined in bronze moiré satin. It snaps closed with an envelope flap.
No maker label or info, but wallet is stamped “Schussler Packing Co. Indianapolis” in gold lettering on one of the inner pockets, so was likely either an employee gift or promotional item.
Surrounded by as much colorful history (and mystery) as its young founder, the Schussler meat packing concern was built in 1921 by 24 year old Mortimer Schussler, who had begun expanding his father’s butcher shop in the mid 1910s. The business survived multiple fires as well as multiple burglaries-- including one in which the safe was cracked, one in which Schlussler’s Cadillac Roadster was stolen (then retrieved), and one in which Schussler was shot in the leg. In addition, it rebounded from at least one bankruptcy and was the site of an illegal craps game at which Schussler himself was arrested.
Also intriguing: In 1932, Mortimer Schussler paid the bail bond for the Muncie, Indiana police chief, who had been arrested (along with that town’s Mayor and 11 other Delaware County officials and suspected bootleggers) in a federal dragnet referred to in the local papers as the “Rum Conspiracy”. Schussler died in 1939 at only 42 years of age--across the country from, but only hours after, his stepmother passed away. All in all, a fascinating backstory to find, tucked inside a well made, handsome wallet!
Measurements are 4 1/4” x 3 ¾” closed and 8 ½” long open. Good condition; though apparently little used, the wallet has age-related color variations in the leather (darkening on the back and under the flap), and some cracking in the inner crease where the wallet folds.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild