Jan 29, 2014

Hat of the Week: 1960s Era Penney's BIG-MAC Balloon Top Engineer Cap

First off, apologies to all the readers of this blog for the lack of posts this past year. While we have been sharing with INSTAGRAM @vintageworkwear, it can't take the place of this blog nor does it allow for the multiple photos or written word that help to share just a bit of information about the vintage work clothing we have a passion for. This vintage BIG-MAC denim engineer cap marks the first edition of our new weekly "Hat of the Week" installment and a renewed effort to share information and photos of the vintage workwear we love. Enjoy!

1960s era Penneys BIG-MAC six panel denim "balloon top" engineer cap.
The variation of fading seen on the different types of denim used to construct this cap result in an almost two-tone appearance. Reminiscent of traditional "Eastern" type railroad caps with their hickory stripe crown paired with a denim headband and visor.
Beautiful fade variations between the darker denim of the visor and headband and the lighter edge trim of the visor.
Close up of the lighter weight denim of the headband and visor along with the Penneys BIG-MAC UNION MADE size label.
Close up view of the heavier grain denim used on the six panel crown portion of the cap.


  1. Boy , where do you find these great engineer caps?
    What a beauty!! I'm currently a steam era railroader
    and started my carrier when you could still buy these
    at JC Penneys. My first "Pay Day " cap was when
    I was seven years old. Got it in 1960 and I still had it
    in "75". It's gone now. I now have a fair collection of
    Big Mac and Pay Day caps but the one I most desire
    is the solid blue denim. Where do I find one? I worked for an
    old engineer that wore nothing but solid denim on a tourist railroad in eastern arizona in the 1960s and 70s. Solid denim was most popular for some reason on the "logging
    roads" in the west because they hide the sweat and dirt
    better than the "stripes".

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  2. Hello! First, let me say I am enjoying reading your archived posts and poring through your images of vintage work wear. I have several chore or engineer caps that are in need of cleaning and wondered if you have any tips to offer on successfully spiffing them up. Since some of the bills feel like they may have cardboard in them, I have taken no steps to wash. Hoping you can share any experience you may have acquired so I can save these charmers for the future. Best regards, Kathy G.

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