Rare Vintage Johnson Woolen Mills Buffalo Plaid Shirt. In 1842, Johnson Woolen Mills began producing fabric from the wool of local sheep. As a need for strong, warm and comfortable clothing grew, the mill began producing woolen shirts, jackets and pants to accommodate the local community. In the early 1900's, the high quality workmanship, warmth and comfort of Johnson Woolen Mill products gave hunters, loggers, fisherman and other outdoorsman a much needed advantage to Vermont's sub-zero temperatures. Backed by nearly 2 centuries of tradition, four generations of Vermont ownership and the pride of being hand-crafted in the USA, Johnson Woolen Mills is a world-wide source for rugged woolen outer wear.
According to legend and theScottish Tartan Authority, this pattern was brought over to the U.S. in the 1800s by Jock McCluskey, a supposed descendent of Rob Roy. Jock was quite a character who sympathized with the native people. He befriended folks from many tribes as he worked as a trader, offering finished goods for buffalo pelts and other items. According to stories, the Native Americans with whom he worked prized the heavy Scottish blankets in the MacGregor Red and Black, which they believed—or so the story goes—got its red color from “a sorcerer’s hex, a dye distilled from the spirit blood and ghostly souls of McCluskey's prey and enemies” and, as a result, was said to bring good luck in battle. Again, according to legend, the Native Americans also couldn’t pronounce the Scottish Gaelic word for blanket—pladger—and instead referred to the blankets as plaids.