The Interesting History of Carhartt Clothing

by Mike Girolami - Date: 2008-09-01 - Word Count: 489 Share This!

Carhartt Clothing has an excellent reputation today among people who need durable clothes that are able to withstand even the toughest work environment. However, that reputation is partially due to its long and fascinating history. The story of how Carhartt Clothing began this journey and where the company is headed in the future might just inspire you to join millions of others in becoming a Carhartt Clothing fan.

The Humble Beginnings

The company started its climb to prominence in the work clothing field more than 100 years ago. Founder Hamilton Carhartt had a dream of being a successful businessman. He was so dedicated to that dream that he changed his name: the extra "t" was supposed to help him stand out among other entrepreneurs.

Although success would eventually be his, his first endeavor wasn't clothing. Instead, he opened up a home furnishing business. That didn't make him though because he didn't want to be selling other people's products. Carhartt wanted to create his own product.

The Birth of a Clothing Brand

Carthartt was working in the late 19th century and one of the biggest industry's of the time was the railroad. And that's where he got the idea that would later become Carhartt Clothing. A railroad engineer met with Carhartt and talked about the specific needs people had for their clothing when they working on the railroad which was definitely an unforgiving environment by anyone's standards.

To help meet the needs of railroad workers, Carhartt developed overalls specifically for railroad workers. After the garment's success, Carhartt decided to turn that single piece into the foundation of an entire business which he named after himself and opened in 1889 at the age of thirty-four.

The Modest Early Years

Carhartt Clothing may have been a hit with railroad workers but that didn't change the humble start of the business. With only four sewing machines and less than a half dozen employees, the company was limited in what it could do. Instead of selling online and through major retailers, the company sent traveling salespeople around to peddle Carhartt Clothing to the railroad divisions.

Although this method may not seem efficient by our standards, it worked for Carhartt Clothing and helped establish the company as a trusted brand of overalls for railroad workers. As a result, the company continued to grow and to expand into other industries that required durable clothing.

The Present and Beyond

Even Carhartt Clothing was not immune to the devastation of the Great Depression but the company didn't go under even though it did lose all but three of its manufacturing plants by 1930. Unfortunately, just seven years later the company's founder and namesake died. Despite his death, the company's mission remained the same.

Now Carhartt Clothing is run as a family business by the descendants of Hamilton Carhartt and the line of clothing is now found not only through North America but also in parts of Europe where there is also a need for top quality, highly durable Carhartt Clothing.

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