Sold in American Stores: Bulgarian Military Blankets Made in 1983

Written by on February 17, 2017 in Bulgaria, Latest, Miscellaneous - 1 Comment

Bulgarian military blankets, apparently made in 1983, were offered in Wisconsin yesterday. Photos by Tanya.

When Tanya, a Bulgarian lady living in the United States, entered a Mills Fleet Farm department store in Appleton (Wisconsin) yesterday, she did not think she would run into a mystery. But one of the items offered to customers in that store was exactly that.

Mills Fleet Farm, and some of their affiliates, such as omahas.com and joesarmynavyonline.com, are offering Bulgarian blankets which appear to have been made in 1983, during communist times. That is what labels on those blankets suggest. “New condition! A rare find”, it says on the store’s websites, which is another indicator for the possibility that American stores sell products from communist Bulgaria, in 2017.

The Bulgarian labels attached to each blanket, which appear to be original, say they were made by “Dekonteks”, a combine (“kombinat”) in the town of Sliven, in 1983. The labels also contain a price: 24,60, presumably in Leva, would have been a pretty high price in the 1980-s. The American price today is $29.95 per item.

In those American stores, they call them “Bulgarian officer-issue blankets”. Some Bulgarians in the U.S., who commented on these pictures on a well-known social media site, said that these blankets might have been used in hospitals back then.

The latest offer at a department store in Wisconsin: Bulgarian military blankets. Photo by Tanya.

These blankets are not really pretty, but they look warm. On every single blanket, it says “H3”, whatever that means.

So, how did blankets, which look like they were produced in communist Bulgaria in 1983, end up in department stores in Wisconsin in 2017? And, if those blankets are really 34 years old, how come they look like new? They should have decayed and disintegrated by now.

If they were really made by a state-owned “kombinat”, this would raise questions about the ownership.

By im.

Photos by Tanya. We thank her.

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One Comment on "Sold in American Stores: Bulgarian Military Blankets Made in 1983"

  1. Stephen Yarrow February 19, 2017 at 9:54 AM · Reply

    Looking at the exchange rate in the early 80’s that equates to $5 (USD) They are overcharging.

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