Photo Gallery

• Why do we say “mad as a hatter”?
(The process of making felt involved toxic mercury that drove hat makers to madness.)

• Who was the first person to pull a rabbit out of a hat?
(A Frenchman, Louis Comte, in 1814; the top hat made its debut in 1797 London.)

• What kind of hats did baseball umpires wear in the 1850’s?
(Top hats!)

• What saved our state animal, the beaver, from extinction?
(The silk worm--silk replaced beaver felt in hat making.)

• What unusual hat was responsible for the creation of the umbrella?
(Tiny paper topknot hats worn by Korean men.)

• What is the design significance of the chef’s hat?
(Each pleat represented a way that a master chef had to prepare eggs.)

• Who was the first person to wear a fedora?
(Sarah Bernhardt, the 1800’s actress, portrayed a character called “Fedora” who wore the distinctive hat.)

“Three things a woman can make out of almost anything--a salad, a hat and an argument.”
--John Barrymore

“Hats are noticed more than any other fashion item and perhaps more important, they’re almost always remembered.”
--The Century of Hats (book available:

“The fact that mummies have been found all over the world wearing hats certainly attests to the importance of headgear in virtually all human cultures.”
--The Village Hat Shop

“It is impossible for a woman to appear chic without a hat.”
--Emily Post, 1959

“Wear a hat that you love and love will find you. Wearing the right hat will get you more attention than a personal ad.”
--Alyce Cornyn-Selby

“Men will tell you a thing or two about women in hats. A hat is intriguing. You can really flirt with a hat.”
--Crowns, Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats (book available:

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