The Hard Hat Turns 100

A hundred years ago, the hard hat did not exist. And 50 years ago, head protection was not widely required for workers. But, thanks to advances in safety, the hard hat has evolved over the decades.

“In 1915, my grandfather began work on a helmet that could protect miners from falling objects. He based it on the doughboy, a helmet he’d worn as a soldier in World War I. The ‘Hard Boiled® Hat’, patented in 1919, was so called because of the steam used in the manufacturing process,” said Edward D. Bullard, former president and CEO of Bullard. “The original ‘Hard Boiled® hat’ was manufactured out of steamed canvas, glue, a leather brim, and black paint. My grandfather built a suspension device into what became the world’s first, commercially available, industrial head-protection device.”

Founded in San Francisco by Edward Dickinson Bullard in 1898, Bullard sold carbide lamps and mining equipment to gold and copper miners. The first designated “Hard Hat Area” in America was set up at the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge construction site where falling rivets could cause serious injury to the workers.

Source: Bullard

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