1890 and 1920 Montgomery Ward catalogs

Discussion in 'Hats' started by ScottF, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

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    I just received these in the mail, and have been dying to post about them - really, really cool items!

    I bought these thinking there would be Stetson ads (not sure what made me think that :eusa_doh: ), but while there aren't, there are GREAT pictures and prices of Montgomery Ward hats, and as you can imagine, almost anything else sold in the U.S. The 1920 catalog has a bunch of color pictures as well (not hats).

    If anyone has an interest in anything in particular from these, let me know and I'll photo-scan - I plan on creating a collection of digital images for each, so might as well start with the items that vintage-interest folks are most interested in.

    ...hat pics coming.
     
  2. Blackthorn

    Blackthorn I'll Lock Up

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    Cool! I can't wait to see those!
     
  3. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Thanks-

    I'm sure many here would very much like to see the menswear, shoes, hats from both catalogs.
    Scanning and making your scans available for the benefit of this forum is always appreciated.

    If you are able, please do.
    Thanks for the offer!


    B
    T
     
  4. FlArchaeologist

    FlArchaeologist Familiar Face

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    I'll put a bid in for 1890s denim if there's any in there. Thanks for offering to make this stuff available!

    -Adam
     
  5. Foofoogal

    Foofoogal Banned

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  6. Brad Bowers

    Brad Bowers I'll Lock Up

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    I'm all about the hats.:)

    Brad
     
  7. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

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    1890 hat pics + denim overalls

    1890 Denim overall detail below. After re-reading the hat pages in the 1890 catalog, I've found Stetson hats interspersed with the Ward hats, including $5.00 'Boss of the Plains' and a few others:

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

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    1920 Hat pics

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

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    No. 31592 "The Fedora" from 1890 is the earliest image of a hat called a Fedora I have ever seen. Wikipedia says the play was first performed in the US in 1889.
     
  10. Lefty

    Lefty I'll Lock Up

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    It's interesting that there's not one front pinch. They're all either side-dents, telescopes, or campaign styles (front and back creases).

    Thanks for posting these. :eusa_clap
     
  11. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

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    I noticed that also, and was wondering we inadvertently lucked upon the first mention of that term - thanks for pointing that out.

    Another interesting term was 'Cow Boy's' hats. I'd rather be a Cowboy than a cow boy.

    The GAR hat in the 1890 catalog is also sort of interesting.

    While Ward advertised a few Stetsons in the 1890 catalog, there are no illustrations of them - only Ward's own hats.
    I read somewhere that Montgomery Ward advertised Stetsons in their catalogs, but I don't know the time period - obviously they weren't carrying them in 1920, and in conversations with owners of 1930's Ward catalogs, there are no Stetsons in those either.
     
  12. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

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    Adding the Wikipedia info that Richard mentions.

    The term fedora was in use as early as 1891. Originally a women's fashion into the 20th century, the fedora came into use in about 1919, as a men's middle-class clothing accessory. Its popularity soared, and eventually it eclipsed the similar-looking Homburg by the early 1920s. Fedoras can be found in nearly any color imaginable, but black, grey, tan, brown, and red are the most popular.

    The word fedora comes from the title of an 1882 play by Victorien Sardou, Fédora, written for Sarah Bernhardt.[2] The play was first performed in the U.S. in 1889. Bernhardt played Princess Fédora, the heroine of the play, and she wore a hat similar to a fedora. The fedora became a female fashion which lasted into the early part of the twentieth century. When the fedora became a male fashion, it was popular in cities for its stylishness, ability to protect the wearer's head from the wind and weather, and the fact that it could be rolled up when not in use. (Richard Davy, of New York, claimed to be its first male wearer.)
     
  13. Brad Bowers

    Brad Bowers I'll Lock Up

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    The Wikipedia entry needs to be revised, apparently. It doesn't look like a women's hat to me.lol I think we can safely assume that Montgomery Ward wasn't the first to use the name, but perhaps many companies adopted the name/style concurrently. That's a really short period of time for the name to be adopted, from 1889 to 1890, but it can happen. Perhaps consumers were aware of the name/style before the 1889 premier of the play in the U.S.

    Brad
     
  14. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I, too, couldn't help but notice that. Photos of street scenes from that era also indicate that front pinches were scarce, if present at all.

    It's not going too far out on a limb to suggest that what we now think of as the standard fedora pinch evolved from the side dent. Perhaps repeated handling of the hat by its crown moved those dents farther forward?

    Note also how much more taper those crowns have (when viewed from the front or back) with those side dents than they would have with just the center dent, or with a front pinch.
     
  15. Richard Warren

    Richard Warren Practically Family

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    Both the 1890 fedora and the only one called fedora from 1920 the I see seem to have what I think is called a pencil curl on the brim.
     
  16. ScottF

    ScottF Call Me a Cab

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    By 1890 Sarah Bernhardt was huge, even in the United States - any play that she starred in received a lot of attention, so I'm not surprised at all that a hat was named after a character she played (who wore a hat similar to an early fedora), or that it was quickly adopted as a hat name. French women were soon wearing 'fedoras' as a result of the 1882 French production of the play.

    Almost anything fashionable in France eventually became fashionable in New York, so it also shouldn't be surprising that by 1890 it was a hat style in the U.S. It does surprise me;however, that it was a MEN's hat style by that time...which apparently would also be a surprise to the Wikipedites.

    Remember, though - Wikipedia entries are maintained by the internet community - I've seen some incredibly absurd stuff on Wikipedia, and some of it is well-written and very polished, which unfortunately gives it an air of sometimes undeserved legitimacy.
     
  17. Yes, they're more like those fedora-homburg hybrids from the 1920s.


    .
     
  18. boushi_mania

    boushi_mania One of the Regulars

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    I find it interesting how it's shown with the brim barely snapped. Or was it even a snap-brim, at that point?

    EDIT:
    Is the gentleman in the bowler wearing a pinstriped cutaway?! :eek:
     
  19. Yes...because at that time, the cutaway silhouette was used for suits as well as for, er, cutaways. Look closely at the picture: the trousers and the cutaway jacket are made of the same fabric. It's a matched suit, meant for daytime businesswear.


    .
     
  20. cptjeff

    cptjeff Practically Family

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    I was of the understanding that that idea of the evolution was already pretty well accepted.
     

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