Purchase our entire collection with one click. Each decade hat is individually packaged in our special Anniversary Box and shipped to you within 4 business days.
America's oldest hat maker, Bollman Hat Company is proud to offer this exclusive collection of headwear. Each decade from more than 145 years is represented by a historically appropriate hat style which was made by Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown, PA, USA. The collection is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the President and CEO of Bollman Hat Company and the hats are presented in special Anniversary edition hat boxes.
Purchase selected hats individually by selecting size and quantity from below. Each decade hat is individually packaged in our special Anniversary Box and shipped to you within 4 business days.
Bollman Hat Company digs deep into the annals of its history to capture and commemorate this long forgotten style. The Wide Awake hat was inspired by the paramilitary campaign organization of the 1860s. The Wide Awakes, affiliated with the Republican Party during the 1860 election, supported Abraham Lincoln and the Union while strongly opposing slavery.
The Wide Awakes were well-drilled and served as political police in escorting party speakers and in preserving order at party demonstrations and had over 400,000 estimated members. The standard Wide Awake uniform consisted of a full robe or cape, a torch, and of course the black hat for which we pay tribute. The Bollman Hat Company produced this hat and all of their hats in black only when George Bollman and Isaac Sowers first opened their hat factory in Adamstown, Pennsylvania in 1868.
The Fez came of age in the 1870s with the foundation of the Freemasons. On June 16, 1871, the original Thirteen Masons organized the first Shrine Temple - which they named “Mecca” - at Nickerbocker College on 6th Avenue. And in maintaining the Near East theme, these first Shriners chose to denote their exclusivity with the Fez. The notable red Fez with its black tassel became the Shrine's official headgear, and has since been handed down through the ages. It derives its name from the place where it was first manufactured — the holy city of Fez in Morocco. Back in Adamstown, the Bollman Hat Company became the primary manufacturer of this style and has produced hundreds of thousands of felt Fezzes since the 1870’s that have been worn by famous Shriners including Presidents Harry Truman and Gerald Ford, General Douglas MacArthur and Chief Justice Earl Warren.
The top hat caused a riot the first time it was seen on the streets of London. The perpetrating “haberdasher” was John Hetherington, the hat’s designer, who first adorned the style publicly in 1797. According to a contemporary newspaper account, passersby panicked at the sight and ran in terror. Hetherington was hauled into court for wearing "a tall structure having a shining luster calculated to frighten timid people." He was fined £500.
By the 1880’s, the top hat was worn by men of every station in life for daily and formal wear without fear of fines. Our Founder, George Bollman, wore this style as he worked to grow his factory and advance the craft of hat making. Bollman shaped these hats on five-piece wooden blocks which were cured in ovens. Our most pronounced “hour glass” shapes are still hand blocked and cured in this method today.
The bowler hat, or the "Derby", was designed by the hatters James and George Lock of Mr. Lock of St. James's Street in the central London district of St. James. James Lock & Co. was founded in 1676 and the bowler hat was introduced in 1849. The Locks would send their design to hatmakers Thomas and William Bowler, who produced a prototype of the hat and renamed it “The Bowler." Originally, the hat’s material was manufactured to be hard and durable in order to protect one’s head against low tree branches while riding horseback.
Peaking in popularity towards the end of the 19th century, the style offered some middle ground between the formality of the top hat associated with upper classes, and the casual nature of soft flat hats worn by working classes. As the traditional headwear of ”gentlemen”, the bowler has become something of an English cultural icon. Back in the states, Bollman has consistently produced the timeless Bowler/Derby style throughout its over 145 years of operation, in catering to a demand that has endured for decades. We suspect that Charlie Chaplin, one of the first movie stars and a famous bowler wearer, chose a Bollman Bowler.
About the time of our Founder’s death in 1900 and beginning of the leadership of his son George W. Bollman, the Homburg hat was taking its place in hat style history. Popularized in England by Edward VII after visiting Germany and bringing one back as a keepsake, the Homburg is one of the oldest formally-styled hats. As the King of England from 1901 to 1910, Edward was known as “The Peacemaker” for his efforts in fostering good relations between England and other European countries. Perhaps the Homburg was a perk of the King’s diplomatic successes, but the style enjoyed its own surprising success in Great Britain and in America.
The Homburg resurfaced in the 1970’s as the “Godfather” and eventually became an early staple of the hip-hop movement. The Bollman Hat Company contributed its own color and flair during each phase of the Homburg’s evolution. Bollman was integral to developing the style’s current counter-cultural appeal by creating a variety of diverse colors including sugar pink, burnt orange, lime green and lemon yellow.
The 1910’s saw the advent of a true piece of Americana in the Montana Peak Hat. Its popularity “peaked” on September 8th, 1911 when it was adopted by the United States Army. What began as a military standard has since become a symbol of both protection and conservation as uniforms of state troopers and park rangers nationwide. The Montana Peak has run the gamut from civic service to the great outdoors. And as the Great War loomed, the Bollman Hat Company produced these hats in abundance for the U.S. Army. These historical hats are still produced by Bollman today.
The “Roaring Twenties”, as the decade is affectionately dubbed, saw an explosion of rich cultural activity, brought on by unprecedented economic prosperity. Gangsters, flappers, speakeasies, jazz and the Charleston were sweeping the nation. Fashion likewise grew by leaps and bounds during this time, as the public became less and less inhibited by prior social standards. People were finally “letting loose” by donning such aesthetically-audacious ensembles.
The term Fedora was in use as early as 1891 but the style really took off in the Twenties, topping off men’s fashion during a golden age. The Fedora featured a pinched crown with the brim turned down in the front and up in the back. This complimented the women’s Cloche style. Indeed, blithe indulgence marked this decade. And once again, Bollman was there indulging hat lovers with headwear that made a personal fashion statement and truly captured the exuberance of America at the time. The Fedora has evolved and endured and Bollman has produced more varieties of the Fedora than any other style in it’s history.
The flamboyance and fast times of the 1920’s gave way to a much more somber climate in the 1930’s. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 ushered in a decade best remembered as a national crisis of unseen magnitude. What today is known as The Great Depression was undoubtedly a period of unparalleled uncertainty, but one that would instill great character and fortitude in the American public. As this major recession set in, fashion evolved likewise, resulting in a more modestly-styled look befitting the national mood. Bollman produced The Trilby which toned down the wide brim and softened the sharp lines of the Fedora. The Trilby or Snap Brim hat became the all purpose dress felt hat, cutting across class strata in America and Europe. To meet the demand, Bollman vertically integrated and began carbonizing and scouring the wool used in felt hats during this decade.
A standard during Jazz’s glory age, the Pork Pie gained relevance during a time of worldly transition, as evidenced by its growing popularity among celebrities and public figures. Physicist Robert Oppenheimer regularly wore a pork pie hat during his field studies. Jamaican ska artist Laurel Aitken even wrote the tune “Give Me Back My Pork Pie Hat” as a tribute.
Its namesake inspired by the British delicacy, the Pork Pie’s distinctive dents around the crown and low flat top was a comfortable look in an unsettling time. Dozens of Bollman Hat Company employees gave their lives serving their country in World War II. The third generation of Bollman family now led the Company and kept in touch with employees serving in the military, and provided regular updates to it’s workforce at home on those lost in action, in captivity, injured and those returning home. Some of these letters have been preserved and hang in the hall of the Company’s main office today.
The “King of the Cowboys” Roy Rogers was a famous singer and cowboy actor during the days of television. He and his third wife Dale Evans (the “Queen of the West”), his golden palomino Trigger, and his German Shepard Bullet, were featured in over one hundred movies and The Roy Rogers Show which ran on radio for nine years before moving to television from 1951 through 1957.
In post-war America, Roy was the embodiment of the western hero. For the Bollman Hat Company, he was a champion of headwear on both the big and small screen. Roy Rogers visited the Bollman factory in 1960 to express gratitude to Bollman Employees for providing him with his signature hat. It was quite a day in Adamstown as Rogers was a beloved figure. Upon addressing the employees, Roy toured the factory, signed autographs and posed with children from the community.
Hippie values and fashion had a major effect on the 1960’s culture, influencing politics, music, television, film, literature, and art. This decade witnessed political assassinations, liberation and a growing revolutionary sentiment. By the end of the decade, America had landed on the moon, rock music ruled the day, the psychedelic style was everywhere and Bollman was beginning its second hundred years.
Long hair styles presented challenges to headwear fashion during this decade but the floppy brim style complemented the casual hippie look. A review of footage from the legendary concert Woodstock yields countless sightings of the style. Many hat companies became casualties of this hatless period but Bollman persevered by building upon its quality, innovativeness and diversity.
Known as the “Me Decade”, the 1970’s strayed heavily from the socially-active movements of the Sixties, gravitating more towards eccentric lifestyles and pleasure-seeking patterns of behavior. Hard rock, pet rocks, glitter, platform shoes, disco, bell bottoms, and feminism ruled the era.
Accordingly, Bollman made some of its most outlandish and extreme designs during this decadent decade. These were hats that screamed “Look at me!”, and most people looked. They featured bright colors, ornate trims and wild feathers. Often times, on par with the popular expressions of the day, the best sellers were the designs that looked the most eccentric and peculiar.
“Thank God we don’t have to wear them all” was often heard as these wild hats came down the trim lines in the men’s department at Bollman Hat Company. The Bollman Company ownership transitioned from family to management during this decade and then to all Employees in the 1980s, but the values laid down in 1868 would endure.
The John Travolta movie Urban Cowboy was such a smash hit when released in 1980 that it kicked off a national trend for all things country and cowboy. Hats, boots, mechanical bull riding and line dancing surged into the vogue, along with Country & Western music. The hat industry boomed around this time as “Cowboy Wannabes” appeared in every town and city in America. Bollman was there again providing large crown western hats with feather and woven bands. When the Philadelphia Phillies paraded down Broad Street after winning the World Series in October of 1980, most members of the team proudly wore Bollman cowboy hats. Unfortunately, for hat makers and Phillies fans, cowboy hats in the city and a World Champion Phillies parade are equally rare! In homage to Bollman's 140th anniversary, the Phillies have won the World Series in 2008!
All things Aussie and the Australian-inspired Outback was an essential part of fashion in the 1990's. The LiteFelt® invented by Bollman Hat Company in 1987 revolutionized the hat industry during this time of economic prosperity and the number one shape was the Outback. This shape topped off a fashion trend that included long duster coats as the “down under” look and attitude grew in scope and popularity.
Bollman produced some 6,000,000 LiteFelt ® hats in the 1990’s providing the world with fashion, function and fun! The LiteFelt® is water repellent, shape retentive and conforms to the wearer’s head making it functional and extremely comfortable. Today, the LiteFelt® is made in fashion, western and classic silhouettes.
Today’s fashions are often inspired by Hollywood’s elite and draw from classic styling. The Stingy Brim is an excellent example of modernizing a classic look. The Bollman Hat Company proudly provides stars like Justin Timberlake, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt hats and caps from our Bailey, Kangol and Country Gentleman brands. Throughout an amazing 140-year journey traveled by some 20,000 employees, our Company has seen the creation of the car, the airplane, radio, television, and the internet. In that same span Bollman has created and produced millions of hats and caps.
Bollman looks to the future with great optimism and is busy today designing the styles that will define decades for future generations.