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Canadian Stetsons

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
Ah yes, so it does; I can just make it out!

I think Moon is correct with his 1970s estimate, and I think that means your hat was actually made by Biltmore in Guelph. The Brockville Stetson plant closed in 1971.
 

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lbgradwell

Familiar Face
Messages
82
Location
Mount Pearl, NL
Much clearer.

And the hat is certainly rabbit fur felt. Sometimes you'll see such hats described as having a "polar" or "deluxe beaver" finish. Some sellers take that to mean (intentionally or not) that beaver pelts were used in the production. Not so!
 

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
Thanks for the quick responses. Conclusion: hat was made in the 70s with rabbit fur. I was worried because it did not refer to any x's that it might not have been fur at all, but some type of synthetic.
 

AbridgedPause

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Location
Montreal, Canada
Thanks for the quick responses. Conclusion: hat was made in the 70s with rabbit fur. I was worried because it did not refer to any x's that it might not have been fur at all, but some type of synthetic.

Hey Barry, if you can post a picture of the Union tag (United Hatters, Cap & Millinery Workers Union), which is located under the sweatband, I can tell you for sure if it's a Brockville era (John B. Stetson Company (Canada) Limited, pre-1971) or Guelph era (Biltmore Hat Co., post-1971) hat.
 

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
Hey Barry, if you can post a picture of the Union tag (United Hatters, Cap & Millinery Workers Union), which is located under the sweatband, I can tell you for sure if it's a Brockville era (John B. Stetson Company (Canada) Limited, pre-1971) or Guelph era (Biltmore Hat Co., post-1971) hat.
Sorry, there's no trace of a tag, everything on the inside of the sweatband is completely worn away except a hand drawn 4 in white.
 

AbridgedPause

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Location
Montreal, Canada
Sorry, there's no trace of a tag, everything on the inside of the sweatband is completely worn away except a hand drawn 4 in white.

Hey Barry, if it's not on the back side of the sweatband, it's inside the hat on the felt itself. If you flip the sweatband inside out, then you have access to the inside portion of the crown. The factory tags are usually hidden under the lining or under the reed of the sweatband. It's probably attached to the felt itself, not the sweatband. like this:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/igr9hbvdNJfEdiaf1

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/data/attachments/7/7406-69281e6a41f84ac83532a3034234f6a5.jpg

Did you buy the hat from the original owner? If it's a post-40's Stetson hat and there's no union tag in there, it's possible that it was removed during cleaning or reblocking over the years. That usually happens when a hat changes hands. But please check under the silk lining, you might find the little pieces of paper there and they'll be able to give us some good information.
 
Last edited:

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
F24C4977-159E-45B9-8C60-4D7040F72D98.jpeg
Hey Barry, if it's not on the back side of the sweatband, it's inside the hat on the felt itself. If you flip the sweatband inside out, then you have access to the inside portion of the crown. The factory tags are usually hidden under the lining or under the reed of the sweatband. It's probably attached to the felt itself, not the sweatband. like this:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/igr9hbvdNJfEdiaf1

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/data/attachments/7/7406-69281e6a41f84ac83532a3034234f6a5.jpg

Did you buy the hat from the original owner? If it's a post-40's Stetson hat and there's no union tag in there, it's possible that it was removed during cleaning or reblocking over the years. That usually happens when a hat changes hands. But please check under the silk lining, you might find the little pieces of paper there and they'll be able to give us some good information.
Here are the best photos l can do
 

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
F8BEB65D-5165-41D1-B95B-8BF55671CBCC.jpeg
View attachment 104184
Here are the best photos l can do
Hey Barry, if it's not on the back side of the sweatband, it's inside the hat on the felt itself. If you flip the sweatband inside out, then you have access to the inside portion of the crown. The factory tags are usually hidden under the lining or under the reed of the sweatband. It's probably attached to the felt itself, not the sweatband. like this:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/igr9hbvdNJfEdiaf1

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/data/attachments/7/7406-69281e6a41f84ac83532a3034234f6a5.jpg

Did you buy the hat from the original owner? If it's a post-40's Stetson hat and there's no union tag in there, it's possible that it was removed during cleaning or reblocking over the years. That usually happens when a hat changes hands. But please check under the silk lining, you might find the little pieces of paper there and they'll be able to give us some good information.
 

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
94D7F0B6-59AA-4853-9966-C6A3D86E479A.jpeg
Hey Barry, if it's not on the back side of the sweatband, it's inside the hat on the felt itself. If you flip the sweatband inside out, then you have access to the inside portion of the crown. The factory tags are usually hidden under the lining or under the reed of the sweatband. It's probably attached to the felt itself, not the sweatband. like this:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/igr9hbvdNJfEdiaf1

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/data/attachments/7/7406-69281e6a41f84ac83532a3034234f6a5.jpg

Did you buy the hat from the original owner? If it's a post-40's Stetson hat and there's no union tag in there, it's possible that it was removed during cleaning or reblocking over the years. That usually happens when a hat changes hands. But please check under the silk lining, you might find the little pieces of paper there and they'll be able to give us some good information.
 

AbridgedPause

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Location
Montreal, Canada
Hey Barry, now that you have the sweatband flipped out like that, you can properly look for those tags. The ripped piece of paper left on your sweatband behind the bow is what was once the size tag. If your hat was made between 1983 and 1995, then the union label may have originally been printed on the back portion of that size tag. But I don't think your hat is that recent.

Like I mentioned before, sometimes the tags are not on the sweatband itself, but are glued or sewn directly on the felt of the hat, behind the lining (the white fabric inside your hat). You see where the white lining is attached to the felt around on the top, which was hidden by the sweatband? The lining is glued to the felt. If it's glued all around, then you won't have a way to look under the lining without pulling it off, and I don't necessarily recommend that, not that it would affect the hat at all if you're careful, I just don't think it's worth ruining the original glue job.

However, if it's only glued lightly every couple of inches all around the hat, then you have spots where you can pull back the unglued edges away from the felt. If you carefully pull back those areas of the lining which are not glued to the hat, so as to see what's behind the lining and directly on the felt, you'll see if there's any factory tags or union tags.

I don't know how familiar you are with older hats, but in case you didn't know, you need to be careful whenever you flip out the sweatbands. If it's an old hat that wasn't cared for, the leather could be damaged from dry rot or be brittle. Whenever I get a new hat and I want to check for clues under the sweatband, I make sure to condition the leather well beforehand. I apply two or three coats of leather conditioner over a 2 day period to make sure the leather is pliable when I flip it out. Your band looks in good shape though so please don't worry. It's good to know for the future though.
 

AbridgedPause

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Location
Montreal, Canada
My guess though, is that your hat is Biltmore-manufactured, based on the fact that there is no visible factory tag and the Stetsons that I've seen (Canadian and American) usually have the red-contoured factory tag. I have no idea if any Biltmore-made Stetson hats have used those tags as well. The number stamped on a Union tag would 100% determine which factory it was made at, if such a tag could be found on a hat.
 

Barry-MI

New in Town
Messages
34
Thanks for the advice. The lining is glued in pretty good, but I could reach my fingers in the overlap and I couldn't feel any paper. The lining has worn pretty thin and is somewhat transparent, but I couldn't see any sign of paper underneath. The fur underneath feels pretty fresh surprisingly.
 

AbridgedPause

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Location
Montreal, Canada
Ya that felt has been hidden from the elements from the start so it's still in perfect condition. Too bad we weren't able to find tags in that hat, but if you find other Canadian Stetsons we can look on them. A safe guess would be that your hat is a Biltmore-made one. Biltmore was very big on long-haired hats too.
 

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