Imagine your “real” job is the engineer on a train screaming down the frozen tracks of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. You stick your head out the window to try and get a glimpse of something…of anything. Suddenly, your hat is stolen away by the swift, invisible hand of Njord, god of the wind.
This cruel scenario played out more than once for our hero George “Stormy” Kromer. He would peek his head out of the window on the train engine, and his hat would be stolen away. Stormy knew there had to be a better hat; the fedora design just wasn’t well suited for hanging out of a train engine.
Having been a semi-pro ball player, spending time on more than 30 teams, Stormy was partial to baseball hats. He asked his wife Ida if she could modify his favorite ball cap to help keep it on in the windy weather. She came up with a hat, which incorporated a soft canvas visor with a six-panel design that stayed put in the wind.
The men who worked the railroad with Stormy liked the hat so much they wanted one for themselves. After a very, short time Ida was unable to keep up with demand, she hired a few workers, and in 1903 the company was born. Demand was ever increasing, and in 1919 the Kromers moved production to a facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
In 2001, Bob Jacquart, owner of Jacquart Fabric Products purchased the rights to Stormy Kromer caps and the production was moved to Ironwood, Michigan. Today, the company produces more than 50,000 caps annually, in a variety of colors and styles. Of course Stormy Kromer is more than just hats. Stormy Kromer jackets, shirts, and pants are all made right here in the U.S.A.