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 Post subject: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:25 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
Approximately forty years ago, New England lost a piece of railroad history, but we’re not referring to the New Haven Railroad. No, we’re talking about the Thompson Cap Company of New Haven, Connecticut. Thompson provided a quality line of clothing products to railroad workers throughout New England. It can even be said that Thompson was responsible for giving NHRR workers “that New Haven look.” Now, only mere “fingerprints” remain of the company that was once synonymous with the NH. Thompson’s products remain as a legacy not only of the company, but the appearance of the classic New England railroad man. Many railroad workers, rail fans, and collectors view their “Thompsons” as prized possessions and refuse to turn them loose at any cost. There are many who have worn Thompson products beyond their limits and have been forced to retire them, as well as those who only bring them out on “state occasions” for fear of losing or ruining them forever.

There are some products that just say, “Thompson” and people can easily spot them. Once such product is Thompson’s Style #305- Otis Pin Stripe cap. This cap features a pleated top made of blue and white pin striped denim fabric with a band and brim made of solid blue denim. The pin striped material was a favorite with New England railroad workers and shouldn’t be confused with the common and broader “hickory stripe” material which, coincidentally, was also offered by Thompson. Over the years, there have been attempts at reproducing Thompson’s caps, but none seem to have sufficed, whether in quantity, quality, or authenticity.

Enter Thompson Caps Limited. About two years ago, two members of the Railroad Museum of New England set out on a mission to accurately reproduce Thompson’s famous Otis Pin Stripe caps and to possibly resurrect a part of New England railroad history. After much research, inspiration, and an exhaustive quest for the proper pin striped denim, Brent Bette and Randy Patterson are proud to come together as Thompson Caps Limited to offer these famous and beloved caps to the public.

Our reproduction Style-#305 Otis Pin Stripe cap is about as close to the original Thompson Cap Company product as you can get. We have only made one departure from the original for the sake of durability and that is in the brim. The original brims were made of cardboard and covered with fabric. Research has shown that these brims did not hold up well after being exposed to moisture, such as adverse weather conditions, sweat, or washing. As a result, many cap manufacturers stopped using cardboard brims altogether in the early 1980’s. This change was made to ensure the quality, durability, and overall lifespan of the cap. It does not detract from the look and style of the original and should prove to be a welcome improvement to a beloved product.

Think about this, folks. Nothing will ever replace the originals, but for those who would like to wear a Thompson on a regular basis without the fear of ruining one, we believe we have a good alternative. You can purchase our Otis Pin Stripe caps by submitting an email to Brent or Randy at thompsoncapslimited@gmail.com. Please provide us with your name, contact information, quantity desired, size, and shipping information when submitting your request. We will respond with pricing, payment options, shipping information, and confirmation in return.

If there are any original Thompson Cap Company products that you would like to see reproduced, please let us know! We are willing to attempt the reproduction of most Thompson products, as long as we have good resources to consult, such as an original example or high quality color photos of an original.


Here are some photos of both an original and our production sample. Enjoy!


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Randy Patterson
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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:27 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
More....


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Randy Patterson
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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:27 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
Last, but not least....


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Randy Patterson
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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:50 am
Posts: 195
Location: Lakewood, CA
Did they produce such a cap in solid white? These were ubiquitous on the Western Pacific.

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 12:36 am 

Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 12:00 am
Posts: 524
Location: Dallas ,Texas. USA
Are the offered in different sizes, my son would sure like to have one.

Donald Duck wears a version of the Thompson in the Disney "Littel Golden Book" entitled; "Donald Duck's Toy Train". http://www.google.com/imgres?q=%5D%22Do ... 3,s:0,i:75

I know its not exactly the same, but Donald's cap was probably a cartoonists representation drawn with the wider stripes to be more easily reproduced using the 1960's multi-color printing methods.

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 2:58 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
wsflco wrote:
Did they produce such a cap in solid white? These were ubiquitous on the Western Pacific.



They sure did! It was their 800 series caps. They were made in a white herringbone fabric. We are considering this series for reproduction.

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 3:00 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
Loco112 wrote:
Are the offered in different sizes, my son would sure like to have one.

Donald Duck wears a version of the Thompson in the Disney "Littel Golden Book" entitled; "Donald Duck's Toy Train". http://www.google.com/imgres?q=%5D%22Do ... 3,s:0,i:75

I know its not exactly the same, but Donald's cap was probably a cartoonists representation drawn with the wider stripes to be more easily reproduced using the 1960's multi-color printing methods.


As of right now, we are offering caps starting in 6 7/8 and up.

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:28 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
It is really great to see some support for our efforts! Thank you!

We are currently attempting to replicate another original Thompson style for the summer. It will be Thompson's 800 series white caps. We hope to offer them both in solid white (Style #801) and with black brim and band (Style # 803). We were informed that the white hat with black brim and band was popular on the shoreline. Interest has been expressed by folks out west for the solid white caps, as they were popular on the Western Pacific and on the coast division of the Southern Pacific. This could mean a revival of more than a piece of New England's railroad history/culture, but others as well!

The Corduroy cap (1000 Series) will be considered for production in the fall and will be offered with ear flaps (Style #1003). If anyone can loan an original for use as an example or several high quality detailed color photos, it would be greatly appreciated. We promise that no original Thompson products will be harmed in the reproduction process!


Randy Patterson
Thompson Caps Limited

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 10:46 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
The hats are in and we are currenlty filling orders!

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 9:19 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:25 am
Posts: 133
Location: Across the river from Baldwin's on the Naugy
The only caveat is that the hat sizes are a little optimistic. If you take a 7 1/4 - the size 7 is the best fit, otherwise you'd be wearing the cap around your ears!

All the sizes appear to be about 2 sizes larger.

Just trying to prevent returns.

I'm sure the 1st photos of them will be available to-nite after the Naugy runs an extra to-day.


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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 10:31 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
omar wrote:
The only caveat is that the hat sizes are a little optimistic. If you take a 7 1/4 - the size 7 is the best fit, otherwise you'd be wearing the cap around your ears!

All the sizes appear to be about 2 sizes larger.

Just trying to prevent returns.

I'm sure the 1st photos of them will be available to-nite after the Naugy runs an extra to-day.


That's true. We are sorting some size issues out at this time, but rest assured, we will get everyone into a cap that fits!

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 3:01 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:50 am
Posts: 195
Location: Lakewood, CA
Please keep us posted on when the solid white caps will be offered!
Thanks!

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WP 165 Restoration Blog:
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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 10:15 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:25 am
Posts: 133
Location: Across the river from Baldwin's on the Naugy
Sorry, no images. It was raining & the photog didn't want to get his Nikon 4-8-8-4 or whatever wet....


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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 11:24 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
wsflco wrote:
Please keep us posted on when the solid white caps will be offered!
Thanks!


I'll definitely keep you posted. Once we get settled with the #305- Otis Pin Stripe caps, we'll look into #801- White Pleated Top cap.

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 Post subject: Re: Thompson Caps Limited
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:21 pm
Posts: 195
Location: Danbury, CT
We are currently looking for any additional information concerning white pleated top caps used by railroads such as WP and SP, specifically the type of material used. If anyone has photos, please share them, or better yet, if anyone has an original, please provide detailed photos. This will be most helpful in reproducing them. Thanks.

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