Antique Hats

Top Hats

About Top Hats

top hat
top hat top hat top hat opera hatopera hat

wooden hatstretchers
If the hat doesn't fit - stretch it

The top hat was invented in the nineteenth Century, it was a development of the squatter earlier riding hat. Originally covered in beaver fur, in the 19th Century silk plush was invented and became more widely used. Top hats intended for riding generally have flatter more curled brims at each side.
In the images on the left the third hat down is an American "stovepipe" hat - so named because the sides of the crown do not flare out but remain parallel, like a pipe.
The 5th hat down is an opera hat - it is made of silk stretched over a wire frame which collapsed to a flat shape for ease of storage & transport.
The hat shown below is a polo helmet - probably 1960's, and made in Aldershot. polo hat

For more information about top hats, there is an excellent page at

Hat cases
Flasks & Cups
Sandwich cases and canteens
Canes & Sticks

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