* The Lofty Goal of a "COMPREHENSIVE" List *
(and the problems involved with this)

"Why isn't the maker list truly comprehensive??"
Readers sometimes note that the list of German cap manufacturers in the book is not actually "comprehensive" (despite this being indicated on the jacket text) and they want to know Why this is the case. A fair question! Here are the bare bones of the matter:

I miscalculated, plain and simple (hey, nobody's perfect, as the saying goes). Although I did, in fact, cover nearly every major German cap manufacturer, it is clear now that there were also countless "closet" makers as well, which - despite many years of collecting - I had still never chanced upon!
A capmaker, in fact, could set up a business with as few as two, or three people (albeit with a very limited, strictly local distribution) - and indeed, this is the way Robert Lubstein himself started out (working out of his kitchen). It became clear that the book would have to be updated periodically with new info on additional Makers and their data (e.g., cap interior colors, authenticated products and so on) -- and here is where I slipped up: in a very busy work environment, I completely forgot to update the jacket's intro text and my "Foreward" notes to remove that word, "comprehensive". It has certainly bitten me on the posterior on more than one occasion - but, we live and learn!

I will be including quite a few additional makers in the Addendum to The Collector's Guide (to be published whenever my circumstances allow), using information presented to me by a number of people in the collecting community who have taken the time and trouble to contact me on this topic, with additional maker names for me to research.

These new maker entries will perforce be more limited in content than many of those that appeared in the main book - this because of the very fact that most of these companies were indeed, no more than very small, local businesses. A company's size - i.e., it's production capacity and level of annual sales - had a great bearing on whether or not the company was entered in the city's Handelsregister (Commercial Registry). This means that with smaller companies, no records of the firm will be found - unless the firm was structured as a "G.m.b.H." (a Limited Liability Company - "L.L.C.")-- as this particular business operating structure had a mandatory listing requirement in the Handlesregister (regardless of any other factors; even a 1-man firm, if structured as a G.m.b.H., had to list).
Many small companies, did not qualify for the Handelsregister--and in this case, one of only two other possible corroborating information sources (from which to verify a firm's Third Reich period existence) that exist becomes the city's Business Registration Bureau (Gewerbeamt) listings; the second is the "Address Books" in the city historical archives. The flaw with the business registration bureau records is that there is a maximum storage life: Gewerbeamt records are stored for only 20 years, after which all files inactive during that period are usually destroyed. Thus, little certifiable proof remains to confirm the existence of many of the smaller companies. The authenticity of the maker, therefore, becomes increasingly dependent on the authenticity of the actual cap itself--with, when lucky, a business advertisement from one of the city's historical address books (which were printed annually), providing at least some corroboration of the firm's existence and business field.
Enough of these little companies appear to have existed that--at day's end--a truly comprehensive list may never prove possible to complete, but I will certainly do my best to come as close as existing records permit.

The Addendum will also include info on less commonly encountered Navy caps - information which had to be sacrificed from the main volume due to space limitations; additional manufacturing details, new information on the Lubstein (EREL)firm and the first ever published photograph of the great Robert Lubstein himself (I am an unabashed fan). Also included will be info on the small German company in Bebra and its owner, which now holds sole rights to the original "EREL-Sonderklasse" trademark (with the blessing of the Lubstein grandson). This company manufactures visor caps in an effort to keep the cap-making craft alive in Germany--practically the sole firm remaining in the Fatherland with in-house production--that production being period reproductions.
The Addendum will likely be softcover, though otherwise in the same approximate format and size as the hardcover main book.

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