Hunter was founded by American entrepreneur Henry Lee Norris. Landing on Scottish soil, he founded the North British Rubber Company, later to be known as Hunter. There he produced boots and other industrial items, using the newly patented and innovative vulcanisation process to create durable rubber products.
From humble beginnings of just 4 people, by the mid-1870s the company had grown to 600 staff members, but it was at the start of World War I in 1914 that production at the factory rose dramatically. To protect soldiers stationed in the trenches, the War Office commissioned sturdy rubber boots. The mill ran 24 hours a day to keep up with demand, manufacturing over 1 million boots over the war period. Recognised for protective designs, the British Rubber Company was called upon again in 1939 after the outbreak of World War II.
The year 1956 marks the creation of the Original Green Wellington, a style later became known as the Original boot, the iconic design at the heart of the Hunter brand. Today the boots are still made on the original last and are handcrafted from 28 parts.
Lauded for the quality of its footwear, Hunter was awarded a Royal Warrant by Appointment to HRH Duke of Edinburgh in 1977 and later to HM The Queen in 1986, an accolade of the highest order.
From pioneers and explorers to celebrities and icons, Hunter boots soared in popularity. They were worn by Lady Diana Spencer in her engagement photos in 1981 and later by Kate Moss at Glastonbury. Today the boots are instantly recognisable on the festival fields of Britain and across the globe.