Early 1940’sNew Era was now providing caps to a long list of local, minor league, college and Canadian baseball teams, as well as plain caps that local outfits around the country would sew lettering or patches on as needed. New Era also made more major and minor league baseball caps now, but the majority of these were “private labels” for Wilson and Spalding, who were moving away from manufacturing their own caps. New Era manufactured the finished unlabeled caps, and Wilson and Spalding would add their own labels and sell directly to the team.
Mid 1940’sHonus Wagner, then coaching for the Pittsburgh Pirates, requests a special custom New Era Pittsburgh cap, as he is having trouble finding a cap that fits his unusually large head. New Era is happy to oblige the legend’s request.
World War IIWar rations create a severe shortage of fabric, especially in colors. Cream (uncolored) fabric was bought on the black market and then dyed in the Koch’s home washing machine before assembly into caps. The color quality varied from batch to batch but the customers were so happy to get colors that they didn’t care.
Late 1940’sNew Era debuts its adjustable size cap. Ehrhardt was worried that they wouldn’t look as good as the fitted caps, but the sheer volume of orders couldn’t be met any other way, and they sold very well.