Biltmore Hats Lasting Impression on Guelph

Biltmore Hat Company Hatbox.

Biltmore Hats was a significant business in Guelph’s history. Formerly called the Fried Hat Company, it moved to Guelph from Niagara in 1919, with new owners changing its name to Biltmore Hats with the idea that this name suggested elegance. The owner Frank Ramsay helped the company to grow in the 1930s despite the Great Depression looming over most company’s. The hats were well made expensive hats that were well consumed by the community, seen through the increasing profits through the wars and Depression. The owner who brought Biltmore Hats to success, Frank Ramsay, died in a boating accident on Lake Huron in 1940. Upon his passing, he was replaced by John Fraser, who again brought the company more money despite being a less involved company President.

Advertising by this company after the war focused on the victory on the part of Canadians. One specific advert had a Canadian sailor in his uniform, stating “Right now I wear HMCS, but I’ll soon be wearing a Biltmore Roller!”. Later, Biltmore Hats sponsored a Junior A Hockey team, what we now call the Kitchener Rangers, used to be known as the Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters (Guelph Biltmore’s for short). The term ‘hat trick’ was created in this community when Biltmore provided a hat to any player who got three goals in a single game. This tradition kept going through their sponsorship and later remained, just without the hat. Biltmore Hats has left an everlasting impression on the communities of Guelph and Kitchener, with its popularity and significance in the sports community as well.

A Guelph Biltmore Mad Hatters jersey

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