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The Fedora Was Originally Worn By Women As A Symbol Of Female Empowerment

On September 15th, tip your hat for National Felt Hat Day! The observance recognizes a stylish head protection worn throughout history.

  • The first reference to a hat appeared in a cave painting at Lussac-les-Chateaux in France. It was dated 15,000 BC.
  • The fedora was originally worn by women and was a symbol of female empowerment and resistance to gender roles. Today, it is worn by both sexes.
  • The fedora was named after Princess Fédora Romanoff from Victorien Sardou’s play “Fédora.” The play was written for actress Sarah Bernhardt. As part of her costume, she wore a soft-brimmed hat with a center-crease, a modified version of today’s fedora.
  • The phrase “a mad as a hatter” comes from the use of mercury nitrate in haberdasheries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Over time, daily exposure to this metal caused these tradesmen to develop dementia, tics and other symptoms. These unusual side effects caused people to believe their hatters had gone mad.
  • A person who makes women’s hats is known as a milliner, while a person who makes hats for men is known as a hatter. The difference stems from the fact that up to the 20th century, the two professions required distinct materials and techniques. Clothing during those times varied greatly based on gender.
  • Between the 1890s and the 1960s, one of the most popular hats was the fedora, a soft felt hat with a brim and tapered crown with a crease down the center. For several decades gangsters, politicians, fashionable bachelors, and conservative family men all wore fedora hats whenever they left home.
  • Panama hats were originally made in Ecuador, not Panama.
  • London black taxies are made tall so that a gentleman can ride in them without taking off a top hat.
  • In the middle of 19th century, baseball umpires wore top hats during the game.
  • White tall chef hats traditionally have 100 pleats to represent hundreds of ways an egg can be prepared. They were invented by cuisine inventors Marie-Antoine Carème and Auguste Escoffier as a method of establishing hierarchy in the kitchen.
  • In the 1920s there was an odd custom in America that it was common that if people wore straw hats after the 15 September they were beaten up.
  • The first “Dunce” hat was introduced by medieval theologian John Duns Scotus (1265-1308). His idea was that a conical hat funneled knowledge from God into a head of the… dunce.
  • French Magician Louis Comte was the first to pull out a rabbit from a top hat in 1814.
  • 20% of your body heat is lost from your head which is why babies are encouraged to wear them outdoors on cold days.
  • There is a law in Wyoming that prohibits wearing a hat that obstructs a view in a theatre or some other place of amusement.
  • In Fargo, North Dakota, There is a law that forbids dancing while wearing a hat under the penalty of jail.
  • There is still a law in Kentucky that forbids a man to buy a ten gallon hat if his wife is not present to assist in choosing a model.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Acme Hat Co

Fact Buddies

History of Hats