Welcome to Hat City
Danbury is known as Hat City because in the 19th and early 20th century it was the center of the hat-making industry in the United Sates. In 1884, in fact, The New Hat Company sat on the same site where the Danbury Ice Arena stands today.
According to local folklore, a Danbury resident named Zadoc Benedict plugged a hole in his shoe with some fur and discovered that friction and sweat had transformed it into felt. Benedict began using his bedpost to mold and shape the felt into hats. Sometime around 1780, he opened a shop on Main Street and his initial output was just three hats per day.
By 1887, the 30 factories that had had sprung up in Danbury were manufacturing five million hats a year. "The Hat Capital of the World," as it was called, was indisputably living by the words of its motto: "Danbury Crowns Them All."
"Danbury Crowns them All"
Origins of the Hat Trick
So where did the hockey phrase Hat Trick come from? While there are several theories, one popular story is that the term originated from a hat store owner in Smiths Falls, Ontario, Canada, who offered to give a free hat to any player who scored three goals in a game.
The story goes that in the early 1900s, a local player named Alex Moffat scored three goals in a game, and the hat store owner, Sammy Taft, made good on his promise by giving Moffat a free hat.
Since Danbury was The Hat Capital of the World, there is a chance that Moffat’s hat was made in Danbury, CT, possibly even by The New Hat Company right where the Danbury Hat Tricks play today.