The History Behind the Legend of Stormy Kromer

George "Stormy" Kromer was a real guy - a semi-pro baseball player and railroad engineer. Not the kind of guy you'd expect to start a clothing company, in other words, but one who happened to create a cap that became known for long-comfort and the ability to stay snug, even in the fiercest winds.

This final feature, in fact, is the reason he made his famous headgear in the first place, but we'll get to that in a bit.

Mr. Kromer, known as "Stormy" to the folks who knew his temper, was born in 1876 in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. He grew up with baseball and would eventually play on nearly 30 semi-pro teams throughout the Midwest. He might have continued to play that field, too, but he met Ida, and before Ida's father would allow her hand in marriage, our ballplayer needed to find real work.

That meant the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad and long, cold trips across the plains. Stormy was an engineer, and to see where he was headed, he had to stick his head out the window - into the wind. Mother Nature stole his cap more than once, and as the story goes, he set out to get her back.

In 1903, he asked Ida (now his wife and an excellent seamstress) to modify an old baseball cap to help keep it on in windy weather. The all-cloth cap with the soft, canvas visor was a departure from the traditional fedoras of the day, but it was more comfortable and because of it's six-panel fit, it stayed put.

Soon other railroad workers wanted one of Stormy Kromer's caps for themselves, and when Ida could no longer keep up with demand, they hired a few employees and the business was born.

A lot of things have changed since those first few caps - new colors, new fabrics, new styles - but we haven't changed the way we make 'em. They're hand-stitched right here in the good old U-S-of-A, and they're still made to fit better than anything you've had next to your noggin. Stormy Kromer caps are true to the original, and that means you get all the comfort and function that made them famous.

Wear one, and you'll know what we mean.


Free Factory Tour!

Drop by the factory to get a tour in person!

Tours Daily Monday-Friday at 1:30. Stormy Kromer Mercantile is open Mon-Fri 8am - 5pm.

Stormy Kromer Mercantile
1238 Wall Street
Ironwood, MI 49938

For more information, please call 888-455-2253


As Seen In

FOX 21 News - Ironwood business keeps tradition of legendary winter hat alive.

Sporting Classics Magazine - Jameson Parker sings Stormy Kromer's praises in the September/October 2009 issue.

Antenna Magazine - Features a Stormy Kromer Cap in their spread, "One Hundred Percent Made in USA" in the fall 2009 issue.