This is a Salz California Saddle Leather Portfolio with a retractable handle. The party I acquired it from believed it to be manufactured in the 1940's. The Salz California Saddle Leather logo is found on the inside pocket. There is also a label inside that states "Golden States Leather Goods" Los Angeles "Genuine Top Grade Cowhide" . I was unable to find a company named Golden States Leather Goods that manufactured bags so it may be a distributor. However, it may be that Salz Leathers did not manufacture this case but instead provided the leather to Golden States Leather Goods which in turn manufactured this bag. In the 145 years it was in business Salz Leathers produced leather for many different bag manufacturers including Coach. [ See http://www.santacruzpl.org/history/articles/10/ ]
This portfolio doubles as a legal size briefcase when the retractable handles slide out. The portfolio has a brass zipper closure. The zipper has a locking mechanism on the end which locks into place and releases wwhen the button is pushed. The key to to the lock is missing but it is unlocked so the fastening mechanism functions without a key. Inside the portfolio has room for files, books or a small laptop. It also has a large slip pocket on one side. the other side has 2 smaller pockets ( 4 3/4" wide) and 2 pen/pencil sleeves.
Length: 16 inches
Height: 12 inches
Width: 3 inches
Handle Drop: 0 to 2.5 inches
This bag is in very good condition. It has no rips, tears, or holes. It is structurally sound. The hardware and zipper function properly. [ The key is missing for the lock] However, it does have some scuffs and scratches on the outside but far fewer than you would expect for a bag this age. Please see photos for the best depiction of the condition of this bag.
About A.K. Salz Leather Tannery, also known as Salz Leathers:
Salz Leathers has a rich history that includes being portrayed by historic photographer Ansel Adams and manufacturing leather for some of the best bag manufacturers in history. In 1955, a leather trade magazine noted:
"The A. K. Salz tannery has been making leather in its present location for a long time. The first hides were "put down" in the tan vats in 1861 by the company then known as the. San Lorenzo Tannery, only eleven years after California was admitted as the thirty-first state of the union. Then, as now, the chief tanning material was the bark of the Lithocarpus Densiflora, an unusual species of oak which grows almost exclusively in the Coastal Range of Northern California."
Ansley Kullman Salz bought the San Lorenzo Tannery in 1917 with a relative named Herman Kullman and renamed it the Kullman Salz Tannery. According to the trade magazine the Salz Tannery " developed to a high degree of perfection the technique of tanning and finishing leather with its natural grain markings. The company even has a trademarked name for the leather--California Saddle Leather™. The name is not particularly descriptive of the usual application for the leather, for more California Saddle Leather™ is used in the manufacture of luggage, handbags and personal leather goods than in the production of saddles, but the leather has a soft, mellow luster that is reminiscent of a cowboy's well-worn saddle."
At different points, the company made leather for the upscale Coach leather company, the Doc Martens shoe company, and a satchel for President Harry S. Truman. In the 1950s, the company was one of only a few that would hire black war veterans who settled in the area after World War II, said local historian Geoffrey Dunn.
Unfortunately after 145 years of leather making, Salz Leathers was another victim of the decision of bag manufacturers to go overseas for cheap labor. After struggling for 10 years to stay afloat while losing millions of dollars, Salz Leathers went out of business in December of 2001.
The information above was taken from two different sites sponsored by the Santa Cruz public library. Leathersmithe.com has a beautiful display of Ansel Adams prints taken from the Santa Cruz Public Library archives that portray the Salz Leathers Tannery and the process it used to make its unique California Saddle Leather. See this at http://www.leathersmithe.com/california-historical-tanne/salz-tannery-gallery.html
More information is found from a 2001 newspaper article announcing the closing of Salz Leathers.
See this at http://www.santacruzpl.org/history/articles/10/