Danbury in Fairfield County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
Danbury – The Hat City
– The Museum in the Streets –
— Danbury, Connecticut —
Although local folklore credits a man by the name of Zadoc Benedict with the start of hatting in Danbury after the Revolutionary War, hatters are thought to have been at work in the Danbury community before that time.
After the Revolutionary War, the hatting industry developed and flourished here due to a ready supply of natural resources. A great quantity of water was needed to make hats and Danbury built the reservoirs needed to hold water for the factories. The railroad created a transportation system that helped the thriving industry and community.
By the 1850s, more hats were made in Danbury than any other place in the United States. Thirty factories were manufacturing five million hats a year in 1887. The city became known as “The Hat Capital of the World,” and citizens enthusiastically adopted the words of its motto: “Danbury Crowns Them All.”
Great wealth and cultural diversity were byproducts of the hatting trade. An influx of immigrants flocked here to work in the factories. Most people in Danbury owned or worked in businesses that had something to do with the making and selling of hats.
By 1923, only six hat manufacturers were left in Danbury due to costly labor disputes and financial reversals. Factories began to cease operations or move their business elsewhere.
By the 1950’s, fewer people were buying hats. More time was spent in cars rather than outdoors and people didn’t need a hat to stay warm and dry. Fashion and styles changed and hat factories started to close down. The last Danbury hat factory closed in 1987.
Erected by Danbury Museum & Historical Society. (Marker Number 13.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 41° 23.7′ N, 73° 27.166′ W. Marker is in Danbury, Connecticut, in Fairfield County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and West Street, on the right when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Danbury CT 06810, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Marian Anderson (within shouting distance of this marker); The Seal of the City (within shouting distance of this marker); Savings Bank of Danbury at Bankers’ Row (within shouting distance of this marker); 248 Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Charles Edward Ives – The Father of Modern MusicDanbury Fair Days (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Danbury Fire Department (about 300 feet away); Trains, Trolleys & Transportation (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Danbury.
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 12, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. This page has been viewed 495 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 12, 2014, by Michael Herrick of Southbury, Connecticut. 3, 4. submitted on April 26, 2018.