Do You Have a Stormy Kromer?
Is that a weather condition?
A type of disease?
The name of a hooker?
Nah. Any good Michigander - especially those anywhere in northern Michigan - can tell ya it’s a cap. Not a hat, but a cap.
The Stormy Kromer caps have been selling ever since 1903 and were named after George Kromer. George was a railroad engineer who kept losing his hats…probably due to the wind blowing it off the train. After losing too many hats, he asked his wife Ida if she would sew a band (“flaps”) onto his baseball cap (he was also a semi-pro player); the band would keep the cap on tight but comfortable, and keep his ears warm at the same time. What to call it? George’s nickname was “Stormy” and the cap now had an official name.
The cap is made from wool and has its own company: Stormy Kromer Mercantile in Ironwood, Michigan. Unfortunately, Michigan can't claim being home to the cap's creation...that would be Wisconsin. But the cap has become so iconic in our state - and manufactured here - that we might as well claim it.
STORMY KROMER FAST FACTS:
1876: George Kromer born
1877: Ida Kromer born
1903: Kromer Cap Company formed
1919: Factory opened in Milwaukee to meet demands
1960: Ida passes away
1965: George sells the business to Richard Grossman
1970: George passes away
2000s: Stormy Kromer Mercantile is formed in Ironwood, Michigan
Who wears Stormy Kromer caps?
...and anyone who wants to keep their ears warm.
The factory in Ironwood, Michigan cranks out approximately 50,000 caps annually. What about a warranty?
A pretty good one.
They have a lifetime warranty to protect against any defect and a three year warranty – or ‘insurance’ – in case your cap gets lost.
Check out a few pieces of Stormy stuff in the gallery below!
MORE MICHIGAN STUFF!