Wednesday, February 13, 2013

America's Oldest Hat Maker, Bollman Hat Company, Celebrates 145 Years

When George Bollman started a hat company in Adamstown, Pennsylvania in 1868, there were dozens of small hat makers in Lancaster and Berks County Pennsylvania. Production began with men’s black hats in a rented building which was previously used as a distillery. During that first year, sixty people were employed and they produced an average of seven hundred and twenty hats daily. George may not have dreamed that his hat company would out-live his local competitors, let alone actually become America’s oldest hat maker.
Now, one hundred and forty five years and tens of thousands of employees later, Bollman Hat Company is known throughout the world for its industry leading quality and innovation as well as its collection of headwear’s top brands. These brands include Bailey®, Helen Kaminski®, Kangol®, Betmar®, Country Gentleman®, Ignite®, Pantropic®, Eddy Bros® and Plaza Suite®. Since its inception, Bollman has continually created private label designs for the world’s leading apparel brands, outdoor brands and retailers.
Bollman hats have covered many Hollywood actors from Humphrey Bogart to Fred Astaire and from Samuel L. Jackson to Nicole Kidman; musicians from Run DMC to Eminem and from Pete Townsend to Ne-Yo; athletes from Michael Jordan to Donovan McNabb and from Chi Chi Rodriguez to Jimmy Rollins.
Bollman has launched a heritage collection of women’s hats to commemorate its 145th anniversary. This collection features one hat for each decade from 1860 to present and joins a men’s heritage collection which was created five years ago.

Take a journey through the history of women’s hats with the Bollman 145th anniversary collection.
Each decade from more than 145 years is represented by a historically appropriate hat style, each of which was made by Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown, PA, USA. The collection is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity and presented in special Anniversary edition hat boxes.

Here is a look at some of our favorites from the collection.

Bollman Heritage Collection 1890s Boater

In the 1890s, women's clothing styles shed some of the extravagances of previous decades. The flat-top, wide-brim style demonstrated in this Boater was the perfect accent for these styles - a conservative shape with just the right amount of flair. A gold felt with a tonal fabric rosette, matching band and a large ostrich feather elegantly match the style of this century.

Bollman Heritage Collection 1910s Toque

During the early 1910s, the fashionable silhouette became much more soft and fluid than in the 1900s. During the years that World War I was fought, more women were forced to work outside the home and thus their fashion styles changed dramatically from past decades. Women's fashion demanded tailored suits and shirtwaists. Large hats with wide brims and broad hats with face-shadowing brims were the height of fashion before the outbreak of World War I in 1914. During the war, the styles gradually shrunk to smaller brimless hats like the Toque. This Toque in royal blue features a brushed finish and a brooch that matches the style for the 1910 decade.
Bollman Heritage Collection 1930s Aviator

While Lindbergh gained popularity for making the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, the country also fell in love with the second person to do so, Amelia Earhart. Women's fashion became more conservative in cut and color. The simple clean lines of the Aviator demonstrate the understated, less baroque designs influenced by the somber times of the Great Depression. At the same time, the hat still possesses an understated charm. The Bollman aviator style is soft and clean with a stick pearl pin to hold the hat in place.

Check out the entire Bollman Heritage collection. It’s quite impressive.

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