Posted on August 10 2020
Long before the term "fitted" was used to describe headwear, and even before “America's Past Time” was designated as baseball, the family of a German immigrant began a journey that would take the headwear industry by storm, redefining and revolutionizing it forever. The German man's name was Ehrhardt Koch, and the dynasty he would build would become known as the New Era Cap Company.
How It All Began
It all started in 1920 after borrowing money from Rose, Ehrhardt’s sister. He began pursuing a dream. His open-mindedness and expertise allowed his company, in the very first year of their existence, to produce 60,000 Gatsby style caps! Mr. Koch rented nothing more than a back room in Buffalo, New York as his first manufacturing plant.
Today, New Era is a significant name in the hat industry. Their influence has been felt by many. In the 1940s, for example, they debuted adjustable caps with their elastic backing. Today, these caps can be seen everywhere and are made by any number of hat companies.
Now Let's Look at Some New Era Styles
The 9FIFTY Snapback – Over the last few years, this has become very popular. Both it and the 59FIFTY use the same flat brim and structured crown. The big difference is the adjustable backing on this hat. A couple of standard sizes fit pretty much any head.
The 59FIFTY – This cap is famous for its unique look because people are keeping the brim flat the entire time that they own the hat. When people think of New Era, this hat comes to mind. For a perfect fit, it is a "fitted" cap. Before you buy this hat, you should definitely measure your head as there is only a centimeter difference between sizes. This hat features a constructed crown, which is just a fancy way of saying that it keeps its shape well thanks to the more rigid feel of the reinforced panels. Curve the flat brim if you choose or leave it flat, looking like it’s straight out of the box.
The 39THIRTY – This was the first step away from the 59FIFTY that New Era took. The crown is still structured but a spandex sweatband is found inside the hat and it has a pre-curved brim. It's ready-to-wear! Had/head sizes aren't as particular here because the band stretches for a perfect fit.
The 9TWENTY – This hat has an adjustable strap in the back and a pre-curved brim. While, compared to the New Era styles above, it may not keep its shape as well (due to its soft crown) … it certainly pays homage to the early and mid-century hats worn by baseball players of old.
Other hats by New Era include the following:
Shop for Your New Era Cap At Hat Heaven
- Of the 24 teams that comprised the MLB in 1974, 20 of them had deals with New Era.
- A member of the Koch family coined the phrase "painting with thread" in the 1960s, referring to embroidery.
- One of New Era’s most popular hats – the 59FIFTY – takes 22 pairs of hands and 22 steps to manufacture!