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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-17-05, 03:25 PM   #1
boots
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De Martini messenger bags

Anyone ever seen or used one of these?

http://www.demartinibags.com

My bag is De Martini, but it doesn't look quite like these. It has a plastic window pocket in the front, plus it's purple, so it's really ugly. But I like the way it feels and it's built like a cinderblock.

These seem really cheap, and I like the idea of canvas instead of nylon.

Does anyone know of a shop in NYC where I could check one out?
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Old 09-17-05, 03:43 PM   #2
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roofles. Their webpage is one image.
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Old 09-17-05, 04:05 PM   #3
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I think its funny that they call themselves "the undisputed original nyc bike messenger bag", but they are located in New Haven, CT.

outsourcing?
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Old 09-17-05, 05:58 PM   #4
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I've had several. Very nice bags but they don't last very long under heavy use(messenger work), the canvas tends to fall apart over time. It's not very waterproof either, especially once there are a few hole in the lining. One nice thing about canvas bags is that they don't move around as much on your back as nylon. They were also very simple and stylish, much more so than most other bags then and now, in my opinion.

Boots, your bag sounds very much like a breakaway bag to me, made by manhattan portage. Where did you get it? I've never seen a demartini bag with a plastic window.

They are the original messenger bag(nyc or otherwise), but the company has changed hands since their start. For a long time they were made in a basement shop on mott st, by Frank Demartini and his daughter. They also did canvas repair for sailboats. Mr DeMartini passed away sometime in the late 90s, and his daughter kept the shop open for a while but finally shut it down and sold the name to the guy who ran manhattan portage. He then made a series of "demartini" bags at their nyc factory, they used a thinner canvas and weren't quite as nice looking as the originals. He has since sold manhattan portage to some japanese people, but kept the rights to the demartini name. And now it seems he has this place in conn. making them for him. They are basically just the manufacturer, but they will sell to the public, but only if they have the bags around. I called them a while back, and they only had a couple of the small bags. They are happy to make more, but only in fairly large quantities.
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Old 09-17-05, 10:30 PM   #5
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Doesn't look like the original my wife sports, looks like what they're allowed to use is the patch that's prominently displayed there. Maybe they'll sell you that! Put it on a canvas Manhatten Portage Either they are terrible photographers or the canvas Manhatten Portage is superior and the same/lower price.
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Old 09-17-05, 11:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
I think its funny that they call themselves "the undisputed original nyc bike messenger bag", but they are located in New Haven, CT.

outsourcing?

I probably had one of the original messenger bags - circa 1969-70 -- and it wasn't made by De Martini or Manhattan Portage.

A long gone canvas bag maker, wholesale only - once located on the east side of Broadway, somewhere between Houston and Canal, agreed to make some custon bags that were available on green canvas with, if memory serves, khaki webbing. Price was about $40 and the bag lasted well beyond the six months I worked as a messenger.
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Old 09-18-05, 08:10 AM   #7
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I have seen a few of the new ones and right next to some manhattan portage bags at that! The company has changed ownership a couple of times over the years but still retains the same design as the original DeMartini bags. Gary from Keirin Berlin has a bunch of them but I've never heard of him shipping them over to North America. I know that a lot of people have asked if he would ship but he for some (good) reason wouldn't. The bag looks pretty nice and if you want one, you should check out Gary's website... http://www.keirinberlin.de/ he might be shipping now.
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Old 09-18-05, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stacy
I probably had one of the original messenger bags - circa 1969-70 -- and it wasn't made by De Martini or Manhattan Portage.

A long gone canvas bag maker, wholesale only - once located on the east side of Broadway, somewhere between Houston and Canal, agreed to make some custon bags that were available on green canvas with, if memory serves, khaki webbing. Price was about $40 and the bag lasted well beyond the six months I worked as a messenger.

From what I've been told DeMartini had been making those bags since the 1950s. Originally for lineman but then used by messengers from the 1970s on. Both Demartini(aka Globe canvas) and MP were east of b'way between houston and canal.

There's a short documentary on Frank DeMartini, but I've never seen it. Anyone have, or have access to it?
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Old 09-18-05, 08:59 AM   #9
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I'm thinking Gary and Mo from keirinberlin were getting them from these guys in Conn. Who knows though, I'm sure there's a few of the orginals laying around here and there.

And because I'm a big bag geek, here are some photos of my "newest" globe bag. Got it custom made in the mid 90s at the mott st shop. It's a little deeper and wider than the standard bag, and has the two side pockets.
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Old 09-18-05, 09:31 AM   #10
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CEYA has mine now - it was from City Bikes
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Old 09-18-05, 03:07 PM   #11
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luckycat--

you got it, breakaway. made by manhattan portage, you say? could be. has a little leather tag on the inside with DeMartini(r) on it.
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Old 09-18-05, 03:25 PM   #12
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Boots,

They definitely came from manhattan portage, but I guess he owned the name. I never saw the demartini label inside, but in the years I worked there I never got one of the purple bags. Maybe you can sell it on ebay for big bucks...
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Old 09-18-05, 03:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
I think its funny that they call themselves "the undisputed original nyc bike messenger bag", but they are located in New Haven, CT.

outsourcing?
exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 07-17-08, 11:31 PM   #14
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I just bought De Martini 3601 bag from www.dm-bags.com
I got my bag within a week after I placed order from there. It's nice bag.
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Old 07-18-08, 01:11 AM   #15
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it's only 7 inches deep? (don't say "that's what she said")
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