1940s Bollman Heritage Collection Rosie by Bollman Hat Company
When George W. Bollman died in 1940, he had five sons (George C., Fred, Paul, Richard and Daniel) who would all enter and run the hat company. On December 7th, 1941, the course of American history would change forever. That day, Japanese pilots swarmed Pearl Harbor, killing 2,402 U.S. Navy seamen and provoking the United States to enter World War II. Millions of men either chose or were drafted into the military to fight Germany and its allies in the war. The Bollman Company kept in contact with those employees serving in the military. The Bollman family provided regular updates to the 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.
Due to the swift deployment of so many men to Europe and other war zones, America saw women enter the work force in numbers like it had never seen before. A 1942 song called "Rosie the Riveter" by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb helped foster the image of strong women who worked on assembly lines. This eventually became a well-known symbol that showed up in magazines, advertisements, and on morale-boosting posters. The Rosie, like the icon of the same name, has uncomplicated, masculine elements blended with an air of feminine power. Many women still enjoyed fashionable attire during wartime, but while economic prosperity allowed for fancier designs, these were not overly ornamental pieces. The Rosie is a beautiful representation of the complex role of women in the 1940's. This hat comes in a special edition Bollman Heritage Hat Box.