Edward W. Bullard, inventor of the hard hat, will be inducted (posthumously) into the 2020 class of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Originally designed for miners, hard hats are now used by millions of people in an array of industries.
Originally named the hard-boiled hat because of the steam used in its manufacture, Bullard’s hat was first made from steamed canvas, glue, leather, and black paint and was first produced a century ago, in 1919. Construction sites in the 1930s started requiring workers to wear head protection. In the 1970s, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) first required the use of hard hats on worksites where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.