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Rockel Hutfabrik


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The Big Deal?

I bought 4 unworn and new old stock German hats. All are open Crown.

Two are Velour in Size 53 and 56 and two felt size 53 and 56.

My guess from the mid 40s to the early 50s.

The Sweatbands are stiff and dry out over the years.The Quality of the Velour is good. The brown Prima Haarhut has a very stiff felt and has a bit longer hair.

Steve and I are agree that they are from the early, 50s


The Velour



The Prima Haarhut



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Rockel & Co. Alsfeld plus other companies, probably 1930s.


"A Man Of The World Is Always With Hat!"




Update: The company to the right of Rockel is Richard Schuster Graskeller 16, Hamburg. The company to the right of Richard Schuster is Gubener Haar und Velourhut Fabrik A.G., Guben.

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Rockel Echter Haar, Great find by Manfred!


"Rockel Echter Haar arrived today. A bargain from Ebay. He has a bit longer hair in a dark blue maybe blue/black! Outstanding condition!

The felt is wonderful, the sweatband un reeded and soft and very thin and he has a light weight!

I am very happy with that suprise, because the seller had only one picture in his description! The age I guess late 40s!"





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Rockel, size 60cm, probably early to mid 1950s. Belongs to Fastuni on the FL.


"German brown "Homburg" hat size 60.

Very tall and full crown - medium wide ribbon.

Made by Rockel. It has only two paper labels: one hand written reading "2" and another one with the size 60. The sweater leather is ultra-thin and reads "real Rockel hair (fur)"."











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Deutsche Landschaft, Volume 1, Burkhard-Verlag., 1956




Six and a half years (1925?) after the First World War, it seemed daring that the young person skilled Heinrich Rockel put his hat factory to Alsfeld. But here he could count on the instinct of skilled workers and found the basic condition for its quality service. The good old craftsmen and ......

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Rockel "25 Years" from the Gotisches Haus (Gothic House) Bad Homburg , Germany hat collection. Rockel Alsfeld was unusual because they were a post WWI hat company. They were able to produce high quality Velour hats (and other hats) at a lower price which made them popular. Also discovered they had their own fur cutting and felt production. This 25th anniversary booklet is especially interesting because it's post WWII. Mentions the lack of hat machine parts post WWII because all the hat machine makers were in the East of Germany (Guben was a main hub). I don't believe any of these German hat machine companies located in East Germany survived WWII. Also looks disparagingly at the hat-less movement.

The Google translation is rough but it's very much worth taking a look at.

(Click On Photos To Expand)





A business one drives from without; but work is only where it is active for communication of reason from within.



has all the features of the unusual. Two world wars, political upheavals greatest extent and bold foray, the human mind in previously barely glimpsed areas have changed the face of the world decisively. Mankind has entered the atomic age; immense forces her into the hand, and while they often endeavor despairing of greatness that lie ahead of her task is to overcome the terrible consequences of the last war, the issue is still not decided whether these forces for the destruction should find and destroy or to build and advance application, a curse or a blessing of all.


Exactly in the middle of the first half of the century falls the foundation of the company. Mr. Rockel started his own business after his professional training with 24 years and founded on April 15, 1925 the company ROCKEL & CO. as a limited partnership.

Personally entertaining shareholders who Mr. Henry Rockel, limited partner Mr Albert Stein, who, however, already retired five years later from the company. As founding Alsfeld was chosen because here accidentally factory rooms, if, were also modestly available. It was started with five workers and increased the number of employees in the first year on 30th were made initially only hair stumps that were sold as semi-finished to the processing ladies hat industry. Particular difficulties lay in this, that, in Alsfeld not learned skilled workers were available, Mr. Rockel therefore each was obliged to teach in person.


Personally entertaining shareholders who Mr. Henry Rockel, limited partner Mr Albert Stein, who, however, already retired five years later from the company. As founding Alsfeld was chosen because here accidentally factory rooms, if, were also modestly available. It was started with five workers and increased the number of employees in the first year on 30th were made initially only hair stumps that were sold as semi-finished to the processing ladies hat industry. Particular difficulties lay in this, that, in Alsfeld not learned skilled workers were available, Mr. Rockel therefore each was obliged to teach in person.

At the time of establishing strong competition prevailed, and who exceptionally hard to enforce for the company over the grofssen holdings of old hat industry. Nevertheless, the manufacturing space soon proved too small from. In 1929, therefore, the company moved to its current plant site.



IN 1931 WAS THE MEN HAT - PRODUCTION added. In the following period, the company brought out a felt hat of special quality and iron had not yet been unknown price, which made its name on the hat gentlemen sector.

A branch operation in Frischborn, Krs. Lauterbach, was built in 1935 to there Tailoring perform the hair on their own. In the course of the year so that was the coarsest percentage needed in the hat factory hat substance manufactured Tailoring in your own hair. The achieved control of the precursor, which is essential for the breakdown of the qualities that a further important step in the direction of the company to its present importance.


IN THE WAR YEARS was obliged fabrication of Füfslingen (Fur Felt Socks) and Fur Felt Gloves are included for the Wehrmacht. a hair was out Füfslingen (Fur Felt Socks)then through lengthy trials felt slipper developed which is particularly warm because of the high qualities of rabbit hair and on addition stylish and appealing could be designed.

Demand for hat-manufactures was very great due to the failure of the supply from the East, the fabrication hand connected in the postwar period due to the absence of many products met considerable difficulties. In particular, the lack of spare parts supplies made äufserst unpleasantly. Since the hat machines factories without exception are in the east, was obliged to be a move to produce spare parts in the widest sense of self. To satisfy the strong demand in some measure, to know how the manufacturing premises were expanded considerably in recent years. The number of Fanned machines - decisive for the capacity of a hat factory - is the anniversary year seven. are currently employs more than 500 staff and workers.

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The hat made in the company brands found before the war abroad have strong appeal. Importing countries were substantially Holland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The torn by war threads are war torn threads are tied up for the time since. So the export business with Holland has been initiated again. Other countries will follow.


Within this small, internal correspondence some BASIC REMARKS ABOUT THE HAT are allowed. Unerlaefslicher part of the well-dressed gentleman, he already enjoyed in ancient times especially attentive and loving attention. Pictures of old masters thus represent the man almost exclusively with hat represents the personality and weight Reprasentation confer and also the totality of man Stressing for the hat like no other garment icon was.




The consciousness of this wholeness is gone today more or less lost us. Thus we see the disintegration of social ties and the associated dissolution of individuality in an existing as mere fiction "wholeness mass", the image of punishment if not dominate the hatless man as the visible expression of this phenomenon, but also change. Do we us right. people with rolled shirtsleeves there will always be. Those often sympathetic figures with wade avert convention and tradition are not interested here. the hatless gentleman in elegant double-breasted but is spiritually a torso, which is not up in the sense of dignity that is consciousness penetrated, at least but missed two lafst. Suave unit and with nuance unit of a neat, comprehensive the whole human lifestyle we speak pro domo we do not think an example will suffice:., imagine in addition to a clean, elegant and cultured woman - before a man without a hat - a lady in the original meaning of the word. Carelessness? Tactlessness? It is that sense of the wholeness of man to restore. Then the hat will be back more than mere headgear, namely expression increased vitality.




In April 1950,


To our esteemed business friends!


On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of our company we allow us inside to present a paper on the history of our company. We wish to express our heartfelt thanks for the confidence shown us in recent years. It will be our endeavor to justify this confidence in the future.




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Rockel (Alsfeld), 58cm, Open Crown 5 inches, Brim 2 3/4 inches, probably late 1950s. The hat was machine formed but I was easily able to change the crease. The charcoal colored felt has an interesting finish which is coarser clipped finish so not a Velour. Also has a very nice thin ribbon bow design that is still basted. The only Rockel identifier is on the crown patch and there is only the store name on the sweatband. The paper label has the older Rockel format and look but without the company identifier (R. & Co. A.).






Basting stitches still on bow and thin ribbon.











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"Echter Rockel Hut" Rockel Alsfeld, Kraemer & Van Elsberg, G.M.B.H. Köln probably late 1920s or 1930s.  I really like marketing / sales items like this placard.  The placard has an patented enamel coating and a unique folding stand.  Kraemer & Van Elsberg, G.M.B.H. Köln were known for such enamel placards.  I also really like the Rockel logo and "Echter Rockel Hut" typography.












This placard is covered with Simili(Simulated)-Enamel. D.R. Patent. Often cleaning with a soft, damp cloth gives the placard its original appearance. Kraemer & van Elsberg, G.rn.b.H., Cologne








Same "Echter Rockel Hut" placard hanging (under the Rockel & Co. sign) in the Rockel Hat trade show display.

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Rockel "Velourette", 58 cm possibly late 1950s.   The finish is Chamois like so I would be interesting to know why Rockel chose the "Velourette" name.  I have one other "Velourette" and it also has a Chamois like finish.  I really like the Ribbon and Bow design.   This is the second hat from my recent seven hat find.








Open Crown



Natural Light




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Rockel "Jupiter", 58 cm possibly mid to late 1950s.  The Chamois like felt is fantastic (color, finish, hand) and easily dry creases.  Also really like the form and mid width band / ribbon.  Unfortunately the liner is missing so I might look for a replacement.   This is the third hat from my recent seven hat find.







Open Crown



Natural Light




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Echter Rockel Velour, 56 cm, possibly late 1950s. This hat belongs to Stefan on the FL.  Here is his description.

"ark grey with some distinct lilac tones to it. Very cool colour which is why it had to come. No label in this one unfortunately, but the liner was glued, so I'm guessing mid to late sixties. Bound brim at 6cm and crown at 11cm at the center dent. Rockel did know how to do velour and this one shows it. Weighs 110 grams."

rockel velour grey_01.jpg rockel velour grey_02.jpg rockel velour grey_03.jpg rockel velour grey_04.jpg rockel velour grey_05.jpg rockel velour grey_06.jpg rockel velour grey_07.jpg rockel velour grey_08.jpg rockel velour grey_09.jpg rockel velour grey_10.jpg


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Echter Rockel Velour, No Paper Label, measures ~ 58 cm, possibly late 1920s.  The the Gray Velour is very pliable with a great amount of gloss.  The Crown is ~ 6 inches Open with a ~ 2 1/2 inch Brim.  The black Bat Wing like Bow is really fantastic.  







Open Crown




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Rockel "Velour", labeled 59cm but fits 58cm, possibly 1930s. The Dark Metal Gray Velour is in very good condition. The glossy color coordinated Liner is striking. Rockel Alsfeld didn't get started until the mid 1920 but found a nitch producing affordable high quality Fur Felt Hats. 








Open Crown



According to the seller Christine, this Rockel "Velour" belonged to her father Hans Terpe (see photo below) , born in 1913 in Nünchritz near Riesa/Saxony as the youngest of 7 siblings. Hans learned the trade of lathe operator at the Riesa steelworks and made it to the foreman at JUNKERS. Later, around 1943, he took over the inn of Christine's mother's family through marriage. He died of a heart attack in Markkleeberg near Leipzig/Saxony in 1966.

Hans Terpe 1935.


Unfortunately Christine doesn't have a photo of her father wearing the Rockel "Velour"  but she did have this 1945 photo of Hans wearing a really fantastic Snap Brim Hat with a Crown Crease Clip!  


Here you can see the Crown Crease Clip in action.


Christine with her father Hans (wearing a Snap Brim Hat) and dog Hasso in 1949. 


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