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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.
Image 2The states in dark red are usually included in modern-day definitions of the South, while those in the color red are often included. The striped states are sometimes considered Southern. (from Culture of the Southern United States)
Image 22Plurality ancestry per US county, 2000: GermanEnglishNorwegianFinnishDutchMexicanSpanishNative"American"African AmericanIrishFrenchItalian (from Culture of the Southern United States)
Image 23The states and territories of the United States as a result of Missouri's admission as a state on August 10, 1821. The remainder of the former Missouri Territory became unorganized territory. (from Missouri)
Image 24A physiographic map of Missouri (from Missouri)
Image 29The Lake of the Ozarks is one of several man-made lakes in Missouri, created by the damming of several rivers and tributaries. The lake has a surface area of 54,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline and has become a popular tourist destination. (from Missouri)
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