August 25, 2013

Books & Facts | Kafka & Hard Hats

I'm currently reading Prague Winter, and the author is listing some famous people that came to Prague, did something in Prague, and so on. One of the things listed I'd never heard of. Apparently we can thank Franz Kafka for the modern hard hat.

Wikipedia states:
"Early on in the ship building industry workers would cover their hats with pitch (tar), and set them in the sun to cure. This was common practice for dock workers who were in constant danger of being hit on the head by objects being dropped from the deck of ships. There were also occasional items falling from the beaks of sea birds, who would pick up just about any item then drop it realizing that the object was inedible.
Management professor Peter Drucker credited writer Franz Kafka with developing the first civilian hard hat when he was employed at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia (1912), but this is not supported by any document from his employer."

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