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Stetson block profile numbers

Discussion in 'Hats' started by Joshbru3, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    I had a thought. I thought it would be very neat if we were able to put together a comprehensive list of block profile numbers that Stetson has used through the years. On every tag until about the mid 50’s or so, Stetson put their block profile number. It would be nice if we could have at least one picture (or more) of the hat in OPEN CROWN position and at least one picture of the the Re-Order tag that shows the block profile number. It may be possible to find some of these blocks with the corresponding numbers on EBAY or antique stores. OBVIOUSLY, hats can be re-blocked and just because the order tag says one thing, doesn’t mean that a particular hat hasn’t been reblocked through the years. I figure however, if we can get enough examples, and enough block shapes seems to match, then we can have a good idea of their blocks used through the years for different hats. I wanted to see if this can be done.

    Here’s my examples: (Formerly owned AND Currently owned)


    1900s Stetson Austral (Block used: 424, Labeled Height: 4 3/4)
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    [​IMG]
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    1920s Stetson Paris Expo Medal Longhair (Block Used: 736, Labeled Height: 5 3/4)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1920s Stetson Select Quality UP Brim (Block Used: 736, Labeled Height: 5 3/4 )
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    1916 Stetson Pace Maker (Block Used: 494, Labeled Height: 6)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1920s Stetson Clear Nutria (Block Used: 217, Labeled Height: 5 3/4)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1920s Stetson Select Quality Mid Ribbon (Block Used: 161, Labeled Height 5 1/2)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    1920s-1930s STETSON EXCELLENT QUALITY (Block Used: 427, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1930s Stetson Equestrian Derby (Block Used: 592, Labeled Height 5)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1930s Stetson Playboy Air Light (Block Used: 123, Labeled Height 5 1/2)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    1930s Stetson Standard Quality Black (Block Used: 729, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1930s Stetson Standard Quality SZ 7 ½ (Block Used: 729, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    1930s Stetson Tyrolean Alpine Hat (Block Used: 788, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    SO FAR WE HAVE:

    (Block Used: 123, Labeled Height 5 1/2)
    (Block Used: 161, Labeled Height 5 1/2)
    (Block Used: 217, Labeled Height: 5 3/4)
    (Block used: 424, Labeled Height: 4 3/4)
    (Block Used: 427, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
    (Block Used: 494, Labeled Height: 6)
    (Block Used: 592, Labeled Height 5)
    (Block Used: 729, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
    (Block Used: 736, Labeled Height: 5 3/4)
    (Block Used: 788, Labeled Height 5 5/8)
     
  6. zetwal

    zetwal I'll Lock Up

    Interesting project ... :yo:
     
  7. BR Gordon

    BR Gordon One Too Many

    I agree.
     
  8. Awesome thread. The height and dimensions of the hats from those days are what strike me because in the end, that's what really matters. All hats have brims and crowns, but what makes them special is the balance of height and volume.
     
  9. Here's my 30's Standard Quality Homburg:
    [​IMG]
    5 7/8 height, block #17:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    Thank you very much, Gentlemen! I really hope there is a TON of replies to this thread. The more examples we have, the better!

    I completely agree with you, Matt. I LOVE anything that is pre-1935/1936. Those higher, strait crowns paired with 2 1/4 - 2 3/8 inch brims are just fantastic. They had the perfect balance of height and volume in my opinion.
     
  11. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    EXCELLENT! Thanks so much Randall!
     
  12. Joshbru3

    Joshbru3 I'll Lock Up

    UPDATED LIST (Effective 02-17-2011, 4:11pm Central time)

    (Block Used: 17, Labeled Height: 5 7/8)
    (Block Used: 123, Labeled Height: 5 1/2)
    (Block Used: 161, Labeled Height: 5 1/2)
    (Block Used: 217, Labeled Height: 5 3/4)
    (Block used: 424, Labeled Height: 4 3/4)
    (Block Used: 427, Labeled Height: 5 5/8)
    (Block Used: 494, Labeled Height: 6)
    (Block Used: 592, Labeled Height: 5)
    (Block Used: 729, Labeled Height: 5 5/8)
    (Block Used: 736, Labeled Height: 5 3/4)
    (Block Used: 788, Labeled Height: 5 5/8)
     
  13. This is a great idea, Josh! I'll see if I have anything not already submitted.
     
  14. carouselvic

    carouselvic My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Westerns

    BOP style block ? Depth ?
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    The Boss Raw Edge block 578? depth 5 5/8
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    [​IMG]
    Rancheros(San Fran) Block 322 Depth 5 1/2?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  15. carouselvic

    carouselvic My Mail is Forwarded Here

    The Royal Stetson Bowlers

    On the right Block 522 1/2 Depth 5 1/8 On left Block 522 Depth 5

    [​IMG]

    Left
    [​IMG]Right[​IMG]
    By carouselvic at 2012-02-17
     
  16. besdor

    besdor Vendor/Sponsor

    Joshbru, where did you find all those nice pre1940 hats? They seem to be in nice shape.

    Steven
     
  17. Early Stetson Star

    Block 762/ 5 1/2" depth

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Interesting and worthwhile effort here, guys.

    I believe that Stetson made their blocks in-house, and I presume the block styles (and the style numbers) were proprietary. So I'm left to wonder just what the chances are of ever locating more than a very few (if even that many) of those old blocks, seeing how so much of Stetson's archives and such seems to have disappeared over the decades and all the moves and changes in ownership.

    But we can infer a very close approximation what those blocks looked like through something like a reverse-engineering approach. In most cases, an old hat in very good or better condition that still sports its original components (sweatband, liner, ribbon) was probably never cleaned and blocked post-factory, so its open-crown shape would be the shape of the block on which it was made. The very existence of those old paper labels is even further reason to think this. Those things usually come off in the cleaning process, and I find it doubtful that the typical corner hatter's shop would have bothered to glue them back in place, although I am aware that some shops offered a quickie while-u-wait service whereby a hat would be fitted to a block and brushed and perhaps given a cursory crown ironing to spruce it up a bit. Still, I've long maintained that in the large majority of cases pristine vintage hats survive in that condition because they didn't see much use. They got worn on special occasions and at some point they got put away and essentially forgotten. Fueling this forgotten-hat phenomenon was the simple truth that hats had started gradually falling out of fashion early in the 20th century, if what I've read from historically reliable sources is to be trusted.

    There's a chance (a slight one, perhaps) that this thread will help identify genuine vintage Stetson factory blocks, should such pop up in our many prowlings about the dusty antique shops and the like. The numbers would be the giveaway, of course. I have well more than few blocks myself, and I've handled a good many more than that, and the block numbers listed in this thread so far are unfamiliar to me.

    Does anyone here know if Stetson at one time offered factory refurbishing? Or if they had relationships with hatter's shops to whom they entrusted their proprietary blocks? I have my doubts, especially as to that second proposition, but you gotta wonder why the information on those labels was considered important enough to include in the first place. Was it more for the benefit of the retailers than the end consumers?

    And then there are paper labels (from many manufacturers) that say something to the effect of "to reproduce mention this number," which is followed by a nine or ten digit (and letter, often) string of characters. It's a code, to state the obvious.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  19. Tom may have to help me here.
    But if I remember right... at the Hatco tour last year we were told that as a general rule Stetson would destroy their old blocks.
    Some were keep as evidenced by the blocks that we were able to take with us.
     
  20. >> I believe that Stetson made their blocks in-house, and I presume the block styles (and the style numbers) were proprietary.

    I have a 322, 5 1/4, 7 1/4 block.

    >>Rancheros(San Fran) Block 322 Depth 5 1/2?
     

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