History of the Welding Beanie
Here is some passed down history that I found recently on the origins of the Welding Beanie.
This story originates before Unions and Insurance existed for welders. When the first electric welders were introduced, the electrodes were not covered with flux. The spark storm that resulted was intense. Here is how it the story goes:
"A group of welders were working in a boiler. One of the men slipped and fell to his death, leaving behind his wife and kids. The family had income and the widow did not know what to do. The group of boilermakers took up a collection to give to the widow. The widow was very appreciative of the good will gift and she made a hat for each of the boilermakers. All she had to sew with were pieced together different patterned rags. They looked a little odd, but the welders accepted them and wore them.
The welders realized that their new welding hats when worn backwards worked quite well for keeping the sparks out of their shirts. The welders then asked the widow to make more and they would pay her for them, and as time went by the welding hat caught on in the welding industry.
So the next time you grab your welding hat, remember this bit of history and what a little generosity can do."