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Carhartt Interesting Trivia

Carhartt Automobiles:  Manufactured in Detroit in 1910 and 1911, Carhartt cars came in several models including the Torpedo Traveler which was advertised as "The climax of symmetrical beauty, motor construction and everlasting performance".

Carhartt Automobile Advert

The Great War: During World War I Carhartt offered seven US garment factories to the government for uniform manufacturing.  In Detroit alone, the factory churned out 10,000 uniforms a week for the war effort.

The Early Years: At the age of 29, Hamilton Carhartt established a wholesale furnishings business under the name Hamilton Carhartt & Co where he sold bib overalls with other dry goods.  As a travelling salesman visiting the local railroad yards he noted the need for a durable bib-overall.  Incorporating the suggestions of railroad engineers, Hamilton Carhartt began making workwear with a single goal in mind: to set a standard of excellence to which all others would aspire.  Starting in Detroit with only two sewing machines in a 20 x 40ft loft, he manufactured his first overalls in denim fabric.

From the beginning, Hamilton Carhartt supported organised labour.  He unionised his small factory and insisted on the "Union Made" label on all his products.  In addition to promoting a female workforce, fighting child labour and supporting organised labour, Carhartt proudly established 8-hour workdays for his employees and by 1910 operations expanded to Liverpool (UK), Vancouver, Toronto, Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas and Rock Hill.


Below is one of the ealiest known photographs of someone wearing Carhartt overalls.  This photo has been traced back to 1915 at Ship Creek, Alaska during the gruelling construction of the US Railroad.  (No, we didn't realise Nick Nolte was that old either!!)

1915 Alaskan Railroad