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Title: A Short Treatise on Head Wear, Ancient and Modern
Author: Goater, Anne C
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

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Transcriber’s Notes.

Page 10 — changed Shirrifs to Sharifs.
Page 17 — The word Tiara added to Pope’s Ti (Pope’s Tiara).
The positioning of the 17 illustrations has been changed slightly
to accommodate each one between paragraphs, on every second page.


  Copyrighted, 1885,
  By R. DUNLAP & CO.

  LOCKWOOD PRESS, 126 & 128 Duane St., New York.




  * HEAD * WEAR *



  Walter H. Goater.

Head Wear, Ancient and Modern.

Tracing the history of man as far back as we can under civilized
conditions of life, we find that in one form or another he has made use
of some artificial contrivance to protect his head.

Nature, in her bounty, seems to have provided in part against the
necessity of the hat, by giving to the head a thick and abundant
covering of hair, but, instead of considering this as an indication
that the head required no other protection, mankind seems rather to
have regarded it as a hint to keep this most important part of the body
well covered.

The hat being the most conspicuous article of dress, and surmounting
all the rest, it is only natural to find that from the earliest times
special care and attention has been given to its adornment—showy
plumes, rare jewels and rich bands of gold and silver being used at
different periods to decorate it.

Its form and frequently its color have also been made to designate the
rank and character of the wearer: As the Monarch by his crown, the
Cardinal by his red hat, which betokens his readiness to spill his
blood at any time for the sake of Christ, and the court fool by his cap
with bells. In one form it serves to designate the military officer,
in another the peaceful Quaker or the quiet man of letters.


  _Fig 1._  _Fig 2._
  _Fig 3._  _Fig 4._  _Fig 5._
  _Fig 6._  _Fig 7._

The materials employed in the manufacture of hats have been various,
stuffs of every kind and color having entered into their composition.
The birds have been robbed of their brilliant plumage, the beasts of
the field of their wool and hair. Amphibious creatures have yielded
their fur, while the mines of the earth have given up precious metals
and stones. All these have been used by man to make a suitable covering
for his august head. Felt hats are by far the most ancient, silk hats
being of quite recent introduction. They were known in Florence about a
century ago, but were not introduced into France until 1825.

Tradition ascribes the discovery of felting to St. Clement. It occurred
in this manner: While on one of his charity missions, becoming weary
and foot-sore, he took off his sandals to ease his feet, which were
all bruised from long walking over rough roads. While resting by the
wayside an opportunity was afforded him of rescuing a little lamb from
the cruel clutches of a wily fox that was pursuing it. The grateful
little creature jumped round him and licked his hand for joy, and it
was in fondling it that St. Clement observed some loose wool, which he

While carelessly handling it the thought suddenly struck him that it
would be good to bind up the wounds on his feet with. No sooner was
it thought than done, and he found it so soothing that he immediately
resumed his journey.


  _Fig 8._  _Fig 9._
  _Fig 10._  _Fig 11._  _Fig 12._
  _Fig 13._  _Fig 14._  _Fig 15._

At night when he came to remove his sandals he was surprised to find,
instead of fine, soft wool, a piece of cloth, so firm and thick that he
could not pull it apart. This was called felt, and St. Clement was
made the patron saint of the craft. (However, it is only fair to state
that, according to some authorities, there is abundant evidence to show
that felting was known to the ancients long before the time of St.
Clement or the Christian era.)

       *       *       *       *       *

The most ancient form of head wear we find to be the cap such as is
seen on figures representing the goddess of liberty. Hoods, also, of
various shapes, date back long before hats appeared, the latter for
a long time only being employed as an article of extra clothing in
winter, worn over the hood or when going on a journey.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the ancient Egyptians very peculiar shaped caps were worn, like
from Figures 1 to 7. Some of them would rise to a great height above
the head, and then descend very low upon the chest in the shape of
lappets. Those of the priests and of their attendants were often loaded
with a profusion of symbolical decorations, composed of feathers, lotus
leaves and other natural products.

In religious processions it was common to wear masks that covered the
whole head and neck down to the shoulders. These represented the heads
and busts of various sacred animals, such as the ibis, hawk, bull, dog
and ram.

       *       *       *       *       *


  _Fig 16._  _Fig 17._
  _Fig 18._  _Figs 19 & 20._  _Fig 21._
  _Fig 22._  _Fig 23._

Our modern hat can be traced back to the _pileus_ worn by the ancient
Greeks when on a journey. Hats with brims were also worn by them,
though some authorities claim that the Greek citizen of mature years
never wore a head-covering, it being confined to youths, workmen and
slaves. The _pileus_ was a closely-fitting woolen skull-cap, which was
sometimes worn as a lining to the helmet. It was adopted by the Romans
at their public games and festivals by those who had once been slaves,
and by the aged and infirm for sake of warmth.

From ancient coins and medals we find that the Romans went bareheaded,
except at sacred rites, games, festivals, and when at war.

Baldness was looked upon by them as a great deformity, and Cæsar,
mighty conqueror though he was, yet could not make nature add one
single hair to his very scanty supply, is said to have prized the honor
of wearing a laurel crown above all the other dignities conferred upon
him by the senate, as it served to conceal his weakness.

In the city, to screen themselves from the heat, rain or wind, the
Romans frequently threw the folds of their robe over their heads, but
if they met any one to whom they owed respect, they immediately let the
folds drop and remained bareheaded.

Figs. 10 and 12 are specimens of ancient Greek helmets, while Fig.
11 represents a young warrior equipped for battle. Fig. 8 shows the
_petasus_, not greatly unlike our tennis hat of to-day. Fig. 14 is the
Phrygian bonnet, which held its own for so many centuries.

       *       *       *       *       *


  _Fig 24._  _Fig 25._
  _Fig 26._  _Fig 27._  _Fig 28._
  _Fig 29._  _Fig 30._

The inhabitants of Eastern nations always have their heads covered. In
China the men wear hats in shape and size resembling large umbrellas,
like Figs. 18 and 23, or else small conical caps similar to Fig. 17.
These are made of beautifully wrought cane-work and often have pictures
of birds and flowers painted upon them. They also have another cap,
which though richer in material is not so graceful. It is similar in
shape to Fig. 22, made of black velvet with a blue silk centre and
a red tassel surmounting the top. The distinctive mark of different
ranks among the mandarins consists in the color and value of the button
worn on the cap. Figs. 19 and 20 show the peculiar head-dress worn by
the Japanese when going forth to battle. In Arabia, notwithstanding
the heat of the climate, the men wear a most preposterous head-dress.
Frequently fifteen cloth or linen caps are worn one over the other, the
upper one being gorgeously embroidered in gold with a sentence from the
Koran worked upon it. Not satisfied with this curious coiffure they
add to it by wrapping around the outer cap a large piece of muslin
ornamented at the ends with silk or golden fringe, which stream loosely
on the shoulders.

A plume of white heron’s feathers is the distinctive badge of a chief
among the Uzbek Tartars.

Throughout the East the turban is generally worn, its height being a
mark to denote the rank of the wearer. In color it is generally of
the most brilliant hue, and of richly embroidered materials. Great
taste and ingenuity are exercised in the manner of twisting it around
the head so as to make the folds appear as graceful as possible. The
different turbans on page 9 give some idea of the various shapes they
can be made to assume.

Emirs or Sharifs, descendants of Mohammed’s daughter, are alone allowed
the high honor of adorning their heads with green turbans.


  _Fig 31._
  _Fig 32._  _Fig 33._  _Fig 34._
  _Fig 35._  _Fig 36._

On page 11 we have some types of African head-dress, Figs. 31, 32
and 34 showing what the natives of that dark continent have done for
themselves in the way of head adornment, entirely unaided by fashion
or the knowledge of what their brothers in other parts of the world
were wearing. Fig. 33, though of Asiatic origin and finer workmanship,
is quite as grotesque in design as anything the wild tribes of Africa
could devise.

At one time the Turks had a law by which none but themselves could
wear turbans of rich texture. Their Greek subjects were condemned
to wear dark cotton caps as a mark of their servitude. Armenians
were compelled to appear in ridiculous-looking balloon-shaped caps,
while the Jews were only permitted to wear brimless caps resembling
inverted flower-pots. Later on, the Sultan issued a decree that all
of his subjects should wear a red fez instead of their turbans. This
law was received with the most determined and indignant opposition.
So obnoxious to their feelings was this change, that the discontented
party set fire to the houses of all those who favored it, and though
finally the Sultan’s wishes passed into a law, it was years before many
of his subjects became reconciled to it. Fig. 40 shows a turban worn
by one of the Sultans; Fig. 41, the fez of the people. Figs. 37, 38,
42 and 43 on the same page are samples of Russian hats. In some parts
of that country the head-covering of the people is made of birch bark
and plaited grasses; but fur is the material most commonly used. The
prevailing male head-dress of the inhabitants of Asia Minor appears
to be the Phrygian bonnet, of which the characteristic features with
them are its point on top, bent forward, and its long flaps descending
on the shoulders. This style of hat was worn for many centuries, and
traveled as far west as Venice, where the Doge always wore one.

       *       *       *       *       *


  _Fig 37._  _Fig 38._
  _Fig 39._  _Fig 40._  _Fig 41._
  _Fig 42._  _Fig 43._

As a part of defensive armor the hat became the helmet, which has
changed but little in shape from the earliest times. Very elaborate and
fantastic were some of the early forms, with their double or two-story
heads, Figs. 46 and 47, to give the impression of increased height.
The workmanship, also, was very beautiful, some of the ancient helmets
being entirely covered with chasing and designs of the most intricate
character. With the Greeks and Romans the subject of armor was one of
importance, and from their ancient monuments we can learn much of their
form and beauty. Page 15 shows several kinds of helmets worn during the
middle ages.

       *       *       *       *       *

In Spain serious disturbances took place in Madrid in the eighteenth
century over an attempt being made to banish the _sombrero_. While
in other countries the fashion of hats has been undergoing changes,
in Spain the same shapes are worn year after year, with but little
modification. Page 19, with the exception of Figs. 52 and 53, which
are Mexican, show several forms of Spanish hats. Fig. 51 is the style
commonly worn by the priests when traveling about.

Page 21 gives some German types; Fig. 61 is the hat of a judge; Figs.
58, 60 and 62 are military hats, while Fig. 63 shows a Teutonic fool’s
cap decorated with bells.

       *       *       *       *       *


  _Fig 44._
  _Fig 45._  _Fig 46._  _Fig 47._  _Fig 48._
  _Fig 49._

In France the clothing of the head has long been a subject of special
consideration, and many have been the styles that have emanated from
there. At first, as in most of the other countries mentioned, hoods
were worn, but when Charles VII. made his triumphal entry into Rouen,
in 1449, he wore a hat lined with red velvet and surmounted with a
rich plume of feathers. From this date hats and caps became general
throughout France.

A curious appendage that was worn with the hat for many years was like
Fig. 66, consisting of a piece of black stuff which was fastened to one
side of the hat, the other end being thrown over the left shoulder.
This band was often held in the hand and the hat allowed to fall off
from the head and rest on the back.

Another peculiar head-dress was the Capuchin hood, Fig. 68. This had a
long pointed tail that hung down the back, and in front was buttoned
close up to the chin. Some gallants twisted the tails into all sorts
of fantastic forms and carelessly poised them on the top of the head.
With the shaven faces that were always worn with this hood, the men
all looked very much like monks. It was fear of this appearance that
induced Francis I. to set the fashion of velvet caps in his kingdom.
Fig. 67 represents a French military hat. For the past fifty years the
high silk hat has been the most popular style in France.

At one time there was a law in France which compelled all bankrupt Jews
to wear a green hat, so that people might avoid losses by trading with
them. The slang expression “Do you see anything green about me,” is
said to have derived its origin from this circumstance.

       *       *       *       *       *



The early Anglo-Saxons for years wore no other covering for their heads
than their long flowing hair, which they sedulously cultivated. When
they did take to a covering, about the eighth century, it was in the
form of a cap made most likely from the undressed skin of animals. The
Britons, at the time of the invasion of Cæsar, wore on their heads a
conical hat, which derived its name from the cabin or hut in which they
lived, it strongly resembling it in shape. Helmets, with a projecting
piece in front called a nasal, were worn by the early Briton warriors.
The nasal was afterward discarded, as it was found to afford too
convenient a hold to the enemy of the wearer, Stephen, at the siege
of Lincoln, having been seized by the nasal of his helmet and held a

It was not until after the Norman conquest that the use of hats became
general in England. “A hatte of bever” was worn by some one of the
nobles met at Clarendon about the middle of the twelfth century, and in
the “Canterbury Tales” we hear mention of the merchant wearing on his
head a “Flaunderish bever hat.”

In the fourteenth century we find a very peculiar kind of head-gear
popular in England, Figs. 70 and 72. First, on the head is a
close-fitting skull-cap, which is encircled by a roll of cloth, flat
like a band, or twisted turban-wise. Above is another piece of cloth,
cut and clipped around the edges in all manner of queer shapes, the
whole falling around the head in a confused manner. Such hoods were
worn by the ancient Knights of the Garter, and are said to have been
borrowed from Italy.

It is in this same century that for the first time in England we find
a feather in the hat, Fig. 75. It was stuck in perfectly straight in
front, as they had not as yet acquired any grace in its adjustment.


  _Fig 50._  _Fig 51._
  _Fig 52._  _Fig 53._  _Fig 54._
  _Fig 55._  _Fig 56._]

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth a great variety of hats and caps
were worn. They were mostly made of velvet and richly decorated with
jewels, bands of gold or silver lace and feathers. A writer of that
time describes them thus: “They wear them sharpe on the crowne, peaking
up like the speare or shaft of a steeple, standing a quarter of a yard
above the crowne of the head. Some others are flatte and broade on
the crowne like the battlements of a house. Another sort have round
corners, sometimes with one sort of band, sometimes another; now black,
now white, now russet, now red, now green, now yellow, now this, now
that—never content with one color or fashion two days to an end; and
thus they spend the Lord’s treasure consuming their golden years and
silver days in wickedness and sin.” Those must have been glorious days
for the hatter when the fashions changed so rapidly that men were
obliged to buy a new hat every two or three days.

During this same reign laws were made compelling the lower classes to
wear on the Sabbath a cap of peculiar shape and make.

The escape of Lord Nithsdale from the Tower, in the early part of the
eighteenth century, was principally effected by the large riding-hoods
worn at that time, which he put on, along with his wife’s dress and
cloak. Such hoods were ever after called Nithsdales.

On page 25 are pictures of some of the early forms of English hats.
Figs. 76 and 78 belonged to the clergy. Fig. 77 is a Scottish bonnet.

       *       *       *       *       *


  _Fig 57._  _Fig 58._
  _Fig 59._  _Fig 60._  _Fig 61._
  _Fig 62._  _Fig 63._]

The Puritans discarded all ornament of any kind from their dress and
wore the steeple hat, high and narrow in the crown, with a broad brim
(Fig. 83). The Cavalier of the same era wore a low, broad-crowned hat
with a feather stuck on one side. The principal changes that have taken
place in hats from time to time have been in the height of the crown
and in the width of the brim. As this latter became wider it led to the
device of looping it up, and thus originated the cocked hat that was
worn during the eighteenth century.

To all Americans this hat brings patriotic recollections of
revolutionary days—for Washington and his generals all wore cocked
hats. On page 27, Fig. 85, we have the hat of the “Minute Man.” Also
one worn, Fig. 79, during the good old Knickerbocker days. Fig. 84
shows the style of hat worn by Kossuth when on a visit to this country
in 1851. Previous to this time the only hat made for gentlemen was
the high silk hat and cloth caps for boys, but a few weeks after
Kossuth’s appearance in the country thousands of hats similar to his
were sold, the demand for them being universal. Since then soft and
stiff felt hats have been brought to perfection in quality and style
in this country far superior to any made abroad. This was shown in
our Centennial Exhibition, in 1876, by Dunlap & Co. receiving the
first prize for their productions over all competition of foreign and
domestic manufactures. Figs. 86, 87, 88 are three different styles
of high hats worn about fifty years ago. In the latter part of the
eighteenth century the gaudy ornaments of lace, jewels, feathers, &c.,
gradually began to disappear from hats, giving place to the sober black
band and simple buckle, and when that, too, had its day and passed
away, the hats of men were left without any ornament, but in much
better taste and more in keeping with their use than were those of old.


  _Fig 64._  _Fig 65._
  _Fig 66._  _Fig 67._  _Fig 68._
  _Fig 69._]

Hats have not only been used for the practical purpose of covering the
head, but from remote time have played their part in many important
actions in life. Among the Romans the hat was the symbol of liberty,
and slaves were presented with one on receiving their freedom. The
Quaker hat dates from the origin of the sect in the middle of the
seventeenth century, Fig. 80. After the assassination of Cæsar
coins were issued by Brutus and Cassius, on which was represented a
cap between two daggers. Even at a later period the hat or cap was
identified with liberty as in the republic of the Netherlands. After
the emancipation from Spain a hat became their national emblem, while
we all know the part Gessler’s hat played in gaining for the Swiss
their freedom. The common practice of doffing the hat when meeting
a friend is thought to be a modification of the ancient custom of
unclothing some part of the body when in the presence of one to whom
respect was due.

Many persons profess that from the dress alone they can give you a true
estimate of the character of the man.

While this is, perhaps, expressing it rather strongly, it is certainly
true that the material and style of one’s dress does, to a large
degree, denote the wearer’s character; and especially is this so of
hats and the manner in which they are worn.


  _Fig 70._  _Fig 71._  _Fig 72._
  _Fig 73._  _Fig 74._  _Fig 75._
  _Fig 76._  _Fig 77._  _Fig 78._]

The man of refined tastes will always be found to be very fastidious
in regard to his head wear, buying only the finest quality of hat,
while a coarse nature will be satisfied with a cheap slouch hat. The
prosperous business man also can generally be picked out by his hat, it
being something substantial and good of its kind, while the man of mean
and parsimonious habits will usually have a hat to correspond with his
dwarfed nature.

  “Have a good hat; the secret of your looks
  Lives with the beaver in Canadian brooks;
  Virtue may flourish in an old cravat,
  But man and nature scorn the shocking hat.”


  _Fig 79._  _Fig 80._  _Fig 81._
  _Fig 82._  _Fig 83._  _Fig 84._
  _Fig 85._  _Fig 86._  _Fig 87._  _Fig 88._]

We have now followed a few of the changes that hats have undergone from
the earliest times to the present, and would bring our remarks to a
close with a notice of the house of R. Dunlap & Co., which was founded
by Mr. Robert Dunlap in 1857, who opened a small store November 14, at
557 Broadway, between Spring and Prince streets, and by originality
of designs and selling the finest class of hats, he soon became the
popular hatter of the city. Two years later, in 1859, Mr. Paran
Stevens, the Napoleon of hotel-keepers, induced Mr. Dunlap to occupy
a store under the Fifth Avenue Hotel, which was just then completed,
and who desired only those as tenants who sold the best goods in their
line. At this time the hotel, situated at the corner of Twenty-third
street and Fifth avenue, was considered very far up town, and it was
predicted that Dunlap’s venture would be a failure; but the young and
enterprising hatter soon became the leading hatter of the country.
The firm remained there for twelve years, and then removed to their
present location, at 178 and 180 Fifth avenue. Finding the demand for
their hats increasing from the residents of Brooklyn, Jersey City and
surrounding suburbs, in 1876 they moved their store from 557 to 179
Broadway, near Cortlandt street, as their down-town store.

[Illustration: FALL STYLES, 1885.

  N^o 52.
  N^o 52.  N^o 53.
  N^o 53.

In Ordering give Number.]

[Illustration: FALL STYLES, 1885.

  N^o 56.
  N^o 54.  N^o 55.
  N^o 55.

In Ordering give Number.]

[Illustration: FALL STYLES, 1885.

  N^o 57 STIFF.
  N^o 58 SOFT.  N^o 59 SOFT.
  N^o 58 SOFT.

In Ordering give Number and state price of Hat desired.]

[Illustration: FALL STYLES, 1885.

  N^o 63.
  N^o 60.
  N^o 61.
  N^o 62.

In Ordering give Number.]

The popularity of the Dunlap hat induced the firm to increase their
manufacturing facilities by the erection of a large factory on Seventh
avenue, New York, where all the silk and opera hats are made, and a
straw-hat factory at 132 and 134 South Fifth avenue, New York, and also
the erection of one of the largest and most complete felt hat factories
in this country at the corner of Park and Nostrand avenues, Brooklyn.

The growing demand for these hats in the West induced the firm to open
a branch store under the Palmer House, Chicago, about three years ago,
which has proved a grand success; also, quite recently, they have
opened an elegant store on Chestnut street, Philadelphia. Besides their
own stores in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia, their celebrated hats
are sold by authorized agents in all the principal cities of the United
States, where the patrons of the Dunlap hat can purchase their hats of
the same style, quality and price as sold by them in their own stores.



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