A Boy Scout Troop With A Unique StoryBoy Scout Troop 17 in St. Louis, Missouri has worn the traditional broad-brimmed Scout campaign hat since its founding in 1917. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, several problems arose with the campaign hats. The material used in the newer hat’s construction was less sturdy, making the hats susceptible to warping. Hat presses were becoming less available and more expensive; and those that were available were not well made.
Because Scouts solve problems, one of the Troop’s Assistant Scoutmasters constructed a rudimentary prototype with the intent of using them within the Troop and perhaps making them available for sale. He proceeded to refine the “tear drop” design, and used stronger materials such as Masonite, heavy grommets, and rivets.
One summer in the early 1960s, a Scout, who was home from college and without a summer job, worked with that Assistant Scoutmaster on the hat press. On a trip to Chicago, he took several with him and spontaneously stopped at the Illinois State Patrol headquarters in Springfield, Illinois. They were enamored with them and bought several. The Troop’s first sale!