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R&M Wegener Hutfabrik


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R&M Wegener Lauterbach, Germany

 

For over 190 years R&M Wegener (Headwear) has been an address for all kind of headwear for ladies, men and children. With skilled and trained staff of about 100 employees in the middle of Germany, Wegener produces headwear fashion and accessoires. Various materials are able to be turned into finest headwear: top hats, western hats, hats of fur felt as well as sport caps, fabric hats and fashionable ladies hats - from straw to fur felt. On about 9000 sqm Wegener's production and stock site are located in Lauterbach/Germany. Due to the good geographical situation many retailers, wholesellers and customers are visiting the facilities.

History

The first development of the company took place in very rough times. But all general managers in charge always knew exactly what to do and therefore were able to carry on their successful business policy. In 1816, a gentleman called Nicolaus Hinrich Dubbers founded the hat company in Hamburg/Germany. 1867 the trading company N.H. Dubbers was registerd in Altona/Hamburg. Owners in those times were Johann end Eduard Dubbers and Theodor Ferdinand Wegener. His sons, Robert and Maximilian Wegener, took over the management in 1884. The problem during this period of time was that the average salary in Hamburg had been increasing rapidly and therefore they decided to move the factory to Blitzenrod/Lauterbach located in Hesse. The surroundings were a big advantage due to the fact that they were able to build a powerplant for electricity run by water power which still exists and is being used. Officially the company started producing its products in May 1885. Besides that, building eight large family houses for the workers families was one of the major projects. In April 1888, after Nicolaus Dubbers left the company, it changed its name to "R&M Wegener GmbH & Co. KG". In 1904, with the age of 59, Robert Wegener left the company and both of his sons, Edgar and Kurt Wegener, took over the management.

Between the two world wars the company built more houses which its employees were able to live in for very little rent.

With this method and other social projects the company provided their employees, a very personal and close relationship grew between them and the management which can still be found today.

During the second World War Edgar Wegener died and his brother Kurt took over the mangement.

With him the company grew and expanded its sales rapidly throughout Europe.

He was general manager for a long time in Lauterbach before he left the company with the age of 80.

 

His sons Klaus Theodor Wegener and Hans Wegener took over the management after 1945.

 

Klaus Theodor Wegener was responsible for initiating the extraordinay relationships to several hat companies in the United States and after working in Dallas/Texas at Resistol, R&M Wegener was granted the licence to produce Resitol hats in Germany from 1958 onwards. Till the 4th of September 1966, Klaus and Hans both managed the company in the fourth generation. But in the evening of that day Klaus Theodor Wegener tragically died with the age of only 46 in a car accident. He had two sons, Hans Theodor and Dirk Wegener, who were born 1949 and 1952. Today his oldest son Hans Theodor Wegener is the general manager of the company in Lauterbach/Hessen.

With him the company grew and was able to celebrate many successes such as the supply of hats for the German olympic team. Because of Hans Theodor Wegener and his employees, the company is now very well-known on the international fashion market and sells its products to nearly every country in the world.

 

Today R.&M. Wegener is a modern, rationalized company as well as still owned by the same family since over 190 years.

 

http://wegener-headwear.de/en/aboutus.html

 

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There was a time when US brands like Stetson or Resistol licensed Wegener to produce hats for the German(European) market.

This one here is a 1960's Resistol that was made by Wegener. The color in the photos is not really acurate, as there is a slight green touch to the brown, which was not captured by the camera.

 

There were some serious moth nibbles on the brim, so I added the black lining to cover the disaster area.

 

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Wegener Velour (1990s early 2000s)

 

This is a beautiful blue velour fedora with a cool purple liner. I would say this is one the best made modern production hats I own. I got this hat from my friend Herbert Jennissen who owns Hut-Neubarth Augsburt. Unfortunately Herbert told me Wegener is no longer making such great hats.

 

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Wegener Homburg, Dark Blue. This is a special model made for A. Breiter Munich. Very nice dark blue felt that is especially pliable for a Homburg (similar to Borsalino Homburgs). I am thinking early 1950s but it could be older (very early 40s?).

 

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Wegener Echt Panama, size 58cm. Haven't come across a Wegener straw before. Probably 1960s and a lower grade Cuenca (any ideas?). I like the blocking and brown ribbon treatment. Also nice comfortable sweatband plus light and airy.

 

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I found a short German Wegenerabout the company - quite interesting and considering they are still in business in the same premises as they were 100 years ago, I am sure they have a remarkable archive.

Basically, it tells that they still make hats in Germany but also in Asia and in Poland. A large amount of their revenue comes from private labelling hats for large German brands. As you can imagine though, the quality is probably not top notch. Ever since the 1950's, when one of the Wegeners went to the US in order to learn how to make Cowboy Hats at Resistol, they produce Resistol Hats in Europe under license.

They still produce top hats although they do not look anything like the old ones and the company is supposed to remain in family when the current CEO retires soon.

I will try to pay them a visit, when I am in Germany in November.

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This beautiful Wegener belongs to Manfred (Fritz).

 

Wide-brimmed 2-3/4 and high in the front 4-3/4 with bash.

 

Out of the Box:

 

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After brushing and steam: It is a black beauty, is my opinion. The felt again stiff and strong

 

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This beauty belongs to Manfred (Fritz). Probably late 1950s.

 

"Today was flea market day for me. I visit two flea markets near my home town. The results, three Homburger, one of them a really nice old Wegener. mid gray.

The other Homburgs are old but unknown Manufacturer."

 

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Wegener Carrera Biber. This one belongs to Manfred. First Wegener I have come across with a sweatband cord.

 

"My fleamarket Trip today was successful. Found this nice Wegener Biber Pork Pie ind mid brown in

great condition. I guess he is from the 60s!"

 

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Wegener Biber made for Wilhelm Maushard, Schopfheim, West Germany, 59cm, very good condition, probably late 1950s. A German hat shop model with no maker marks. I assume it has some Beaver (Biber) content based on the name. Unique bow design and very nice felt finish / color. I am fairly certain this hat was made by Wegener because of the use of the "Biber" name, bow design (see "Seal" below) and construction.

 

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R.& M. Wegener, measures 58.5cm, crown 6 inches open, brim 2 1/2 inches, non reed sweatband, 1920s maybe older. This is the first pre WWII Wegener I have encountered, after looking for a long time, so a rare find. All the original parts are in place except for the sweatband ribbon, although the bow looks original. What is interesting is the crown tip patch is off center. This could be why the patched survived. There is a paper label behind the sweatband but I do not want to take a chance damaging the sweatband.

 

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