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Allie-Maillard Conformateur

Messages
14,726
Location
Buffalo, NY
There are several threads dedicated to the conformateur on the Fedora Lounge, but most are old and populated with broken links. I've started this new thread and post below a few "before" pictures of the conformateur I purchased recently on ebay. A couple of the ebony fingers are broken and the flat spring that holds the cork lined lid in the closed position has snapped and been modified to perform its function. But it appears that all parts are present, repairable and calling out for some careful cleaning and renovation. The restoration of this great old device will be a winter project. Maybe it will occupy enough free time to keep me away from hat auctions for a while?

Pictures of the restoration process to follow. In the meantime, I would love for others to post additional photos, reference and knowledge on this device and its sibling, the formillion.

conform6.jpg


conform3.jpg


conform4.jpg


conform2.jpg


conform1.jpg


conform5.jpg
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,818
Location
My mother's basement
Are you of a mind to disclose how much this gizmo set you back?

These things are kinda scarce, as you are surely aware. Congratulations on acquiring yours.
 

monbla256

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,239
Location
DFW Metroplex, Texas
You know, this requires the requisit "noggin shot" :) After you get it's restoration under your belt, we'll start seeing some of "Al's hats" in the marketplace :)
 

Art Fawcett

Sponsoring Affiliate
Messages
3,714
Location
Central Point, Or.
Alan, Rodney Allison of North Valley Hat Co. can give you pointers on the reno if you'd like. He's a good man and has renovated several. Just email him & I'm sure he'd help
Good luck with the project. Been there, done that, pretty tough
 
Messages
14,726
Location
Buffalo, NY
Thanks for the lead, Art. I expect it will be slow going. I used to enjoy woodworking and modelmaking so hoping I will find some joy mixed in with the expletives. 8^)

Tony, there were two conformateurs sold recently through ebay, both in the four hundreds.
 

rlk

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,100
Location
Evanston, IL
Thanks for the lead, Art. I expect it will be slow going. I used to enjoy woodworking and modelmaking so hoping I will find some joy mixed in with the expletives. 8^)

Tony, there were two conformateurs sold recently through ebay, both in the four hundreds.
...and this one from Australia sold today http://www.ebay.com/itm/1800s-Frenc...Hat_Making&hash=item3a6b8fdf70#ht_1442wt_1165

and this bargain from Germany still available :rolleyes:http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALTER-HUTMA...ssoires_1&hash=item415f7472c2#ht_10762wt_1165
 
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RBH

Bartender
That is really neat Alan.
Having seen Major Moores up close it is neat how the thing works to get your head shape.
Also I believe Mark DeCou may have helped Mike on a few of his missing parts.
He may be of service to you also.
 
Messages
14,726
Location
Buffalo, NY
After a bit of hunting, I was able to locate a formillion to add to my restoration project. From these photos provided by the seller, it seems to be in good condition, with one broken bolt and a missing wing-nut. All the wooden keys appear to be present.

formilion1.jpg


formilion2.jpg


formilion3.jpg
 

frussell

One Too Many
Messages
1,409
Location
California Desert
Good luck Alan, those old gizmos are super cool. I remember a guy using one to measure my head about 20 years ago at a buckaroo festival here in Southern California, and he had printouts of several famous folks he had done. It was surprising to see how lopsided most people's heads really are. We are not as symmetrical as we would like to see ourselves. The same fella also shared with me that he had measured Oprah Winfrey's head, and she wears a size 8! Happy Holidays, Frank.
 

KyleK

One of the Regulars
Messages
172
Location
Philadelphia
Sounds like a great project! Good luck with it!

I was in Santa Fe a few months back and stumbled upon the O'Farrell Hat shop. After poking around and looking at all the hats (predominantly westerns) the salesperson plopped a similar device on my head and then put my shape on file, should I ever want to purchase a custom from them. Pretty neat, my wife snapped some very silly looking pictures that I will not be posting here! I thought it was interesting that my shape was punched out on a card in a smaller scale than 1:1 - a linear circumference measurement decides the size of the hat. Makes sense, I suppose, just never really thought about it.
 
Messages
14,726
Location
Buffalo, NY
Oprah a size 8 - wow!

Here is the formillion and stand as it arrived after its trip from South America. It is more compact than I imagined.

formillion2.jpg


formillion1.jpg
 

Andykev

I'll Lock Up
Bartender
Messages
4,117
Location
The Beautiful Diablo Valley
I have one.....it has been sitting on a shelf for 8 years. Very nice condition. Mine has the "measuring gauge" you don't often see, that is set (reads) when on your head. The metal gauge is broken, I need to have a jeweler or metalsmith soder it back, or replicate the gauge plate.

They are nice...I recall a man who rebuilds them professionally....Lumber jocks.... http://lumberjocks.com/projects/13131
 
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