Bowler hats dating them
Alyce Cornyn-Selby runs The Hat Museum out of a historic, 100-year-old house in Portland, Oregon.In this interview, she talks about collecting men’s hats and clears up some popular misconceptions about cowboy hats and other headwear. We have more than a thousand hats here at The Hat Museum.At this stage, the block is carefully removed from the interior of the hat, which is trimmed to the desired finished product.While a variety of animal hair is used for wool felt, many bowler hats of lesser quality are made with a polyester fibre.The prototype was made for the London firm of Lock & Co.by the felt makers Bowler for a client William Coke in the 1840s, hence the names by which it is known.
Happy with the results, he placed his order paying twelve shillings for it.[i] Due to Mr Coke’s involvement with the creation of this style, the bowler hat was often first referred to as a ‘coke’ hat.
And finally, the most compelling of all clues is a light ‘dusting’ of white material over the entire brim.
Using a microscope, this dusting of material was analysed and identified as feathers.
See also Billycock, Blocker, Christie, Derby.’[iii] How it is made: The hat is made through a process called ‘blocking’ in which felt (usually wool) is stretched over a ‘block’, or form, with the aid of heat, moisture and physical strength of the milliner.
Once the material is stretched over the form, it is held in place with pins and strings and allowed to cool and dry.
The name ‘bowler’ is said to have been the last name of the two men hired by Lock & Co to design the hat.