Boys save the darndest things. I have always loved maps, and globes. The older the better. Heaven on earth for me was finding a very old map, with country names that will never exist again.
During the cold war that meant finding pre-war maps that included the Baltics, or colonial maps of Africa. I'm still searching garage sales in hopes of finding a British globe on a large library stand from about 1890.
One of the great map inventions of the 20th century was made by the Royal Air Force near the beginning of WWII. The silk map. It was little, light,did not disintegrate in water and contained a great deal of information useful to a downed pilot.
The U.S. Army Air Corps "borrowed" and expanded on the idea to include silk maps all the war theatres. The photos below are of my favorites, from my modest collection, covering the air routes from The Philippines to Japan.
During my Air Force days, warehouses of these maps existed, and they were there for the taking. Mostly war surplus, but new ones were still being printed. Many Air Corps veterans used them, after the war, as linings in old flight jackets, or odd their favorite hunting coat.
The military sold surplus tons of them to the likes of Banana Republic to provide an authentic military look to their clothing.
I have enough silk maps to make a lining, and have the coat I would want to try it on, but somehow it feels disrespectful. Kind of like wearing decorations you didn't earn.
Should you find any old maps in the attic,let me know. I'd be happy to take them off your hands.