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New Era all started in 1920 when German immigrant, Ehrhardt Koch, borrowed $1,000 from his sister to start E. Koch Cap Co. in Buffalo, New York. Then, in 1922 Ehrhardt changed the name of his company to New Era Cap Co. and began producing 60,000 hats a year. The original hats that New Era produced were known as Newsboy Caps, or Baker Boys; much like those on the show Peaky Blinders set in late 19th century Birmingham.
In 1932, Ehrhardt’s son, Harold joined the family business and changed the style of the company entirely. Harold noticed that the old style of caps was going out of style and suggested that New Era follow the demand for baseball caps. Ehrhardt took his son’s advice and noticing too that baseball had quickly become the nation’s pass time, produced the Cleveland Indian’s home and away caps. By the 1940s, New Era’s elastic backed, adjustable caps had made their way onto the market.
By the 1950s, baseball had a firm grip on the nation and New Era replied with their trademark fitted cap, the 59FIFTY. Fast-forward about 20 years and 20 of the 24 professional Major League Baseball teams had signed contracts with New Era. Since then, the company has won sole rights to distribute to Major League Baseball and the NFL.