The History of the Construction Hard Hat

Emma | 08 - 14 - 2020
The History of the Construction Hard Hat

Hard Hat History

The hard hat was invented 100 years ago as a protective shield for laborers and especially miners. Later new hard hat designs evolved and it has become the symbol of status and masculinity. 

In 1919, Edward W. Bullard invented the first mining helmet that is a hard hat. Bullard came home to the family business in San Francisco and started developing safety hats for the workers. He called it the hard-boiled hat, this canvas and leather helmet was the first commercially available head protection device.   

What Are Hard Hats Made Of?

During the early days of hard hat usage- they were made of aluminum to withstand the intense heat while working. Later workers were concerned about using the highly-conductive aluminum hard hats while working where electricity was used. Hard hat material also includes leather, canvas, shellac, and black paint.

1.Hard Hats Never Need to Be Replaced: True or False?
  • A. True
  • B. False

In the late 1930s, the hard hat was made of hardened plastic for workers to use where electrocution was a problem. And by the 1940s, some companies began to manufacture fiberglass hardhats but were replaced by thermoplastic hard hats in the 1950s due to their strength and low cost. Hard hat designs have changed in recent decades and new hard hat technologies evolved far better.

Hard hats are worn by a wide range of professionals — from construction workers to military persons to shipping crew. These people have saved countless lives wearing hard hats.

Thanks to Bullard

At first, wearing a helmet was a choice and not a requirement. Workers brought safety headgear on their initiative and then later employers required workers to wear hard hats. This saved many lives. New products of a safety helmet will evolve every year and will keep on protecting lives – thanks to Edward W. Bullard.  

Read Next