International Hat Company, formerly named the International Harvest Hat Company, was a St. Louis, Missouri-based manufacturer of commercial hats and military helmets. The company was one of the largest hat manufacturers in the United States and, at one time, the largest manufacturer of harvest hats in the world. It is best remembered for its design and mass production of tropical shaped, pressed fiber military sun helmets for service members of the United States Army, Marines, and Navy during and after World War II. Additionally, the American owned company was a major producer of harvest hats, straw hats, fiber sun hats, enameled dress hats, baseball caps, and earmuffs throughout most of the 20th century. However, it is the International Hat military sun helmets that have become the most notable collector's items.
Established in 1917 as a private corporation, the company began with a single product line of harvest straw hats. By the late 1930s, the company had expanded into fiber pressed sun hats and leather harvest hats. During World War II, International Hat developed and produced several models of military sun helmets, including a model with rudimentary ventilation. After the war, the company became interested in plastic molding injection, moving increasingly away from pressed fiber. In the 1950s, General Fibre Company, a subsidiary of International Hat, changed its name to General Moulding Company to reflect these production changes in basic materials. By the 1960s, International Hat was mostly producing baseball caps, straw hats, earmuffs, plastic helmets, and plastic sun hats. During this era of expansion, the company had a proclivity for building its factories in small rural cities, often becoming the largest employer and economic backbone of those communities. On several occasions, International Hat donated land or facility equipment for the creation of municipal parks located adjacent to one of its factories, namely for the purpose of benefiting employees, their families, and the local community.
In addition to achieving pop culture prominence and respect in the fashion and art worlds starting with her body painting of Demi Moore, she is a make-up artist in the rock and roll world who has helped several of her music clients win fashion and style awards. She is also considered a fashion and art trendsetter, and for a long time she was associated with Madonna. In 2001, she had her first retrospective and in 2005, she published her first book on body painting. At the peak of her pop culture fame after the Vanity Fair cover, she was seriously considered for an Absolut Vodka Absolute Gair ad campaign. She has done magazine editorial work, and in 2005, she became a photographer of her own body paintings in both books and magazines. (Full article...)