Oldest Hat Maker in America…Part 1

Local hat maker continues to produce American-made quality hats right in here in Berks County.
In 1806 there were 40 hat factories located in Reading, Pa. Along with dozens of other industries, Berk County was a thriving area for manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution.

The Bollman Hat Company began in 1868, during the second industrial revolution which makes it the oldest hat maker in America. The headquarters is in Adamstown Pennsylvania where they continue to manufacture luxury hat brands, most of which are still made right at the Adamstown factory.

The company has grown exponentially over the years, and have design and showroom offices in New York City, Denver Colorado, London England, and Sydney Austraila. They produce luxury hats for brands that include Kangol, Betmar, Bailey of Hollywood, Borsalino, Pantropic, Karen Kane, and Helen Kaminski, to name a few. Their products are sold all over the world in specialty, department, and online e-commerce stores.

Last year the President & CEO, Don Rongione made a huge business decision to purchase the Kangol brand knitting machines created in 1936 from a struggling factory in China. The acquisition required a substantial investment, so the company along with the Kangol brand began a Kickstarter fund to help raise the remaining money needed to bring the machines to the states. Thereby continuing their mission to make quality American-made products.

One year later the Kickstarter campaign #MOTHERFUNDER has been a tremendous success.

The British-born Kangol brand launched in 1938 and popularity grew rapidly. However, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s in NYC, during the rise of Hip-Hop, breakdancing, graffiti, and DJ’s, that the Kangol brand was born.

Let’s take a look at a few celebrities that are synonymous with the Kangol brand.

(Pictured) Hip-Hop legends LL Cool J, RUN-DMC, Samuel L. Jackson, and from the Netflix original series THE GETDOWN.

Check out the rest of the story on the famous hat maker and their online e-commerce site Hats.com

Until next time!