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Classic Hat Makers List

StetsonHomburg

Practically Family
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518
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None of your business!
mingoslim said:
So . . . Picking up wher the previous thread left off, here is where my research has led, so far . . .

Now the question is, can any of our Hat Aficionados help fill in the details and correct any errors on this myriad of manufacturers? When were they in business? Where did they operate? What kind of quality did they produce? What styles or innovations were they famous for? . . . Are they still making hats!?!?!

Ideally we should distinguish between Hat Makers and Hat Sellers . . . For example, house Brands such as Penney's Marathon should be identified as such, and when possible, the actual manufacturer should be noted . . . For example, in the case of J.C. Penneys’ Marathon, Lee was the manufacturer.

I think we should also distinguish "classic" hat makers from their modern counterparts . . .

Are you all up to the challenge?


Classic Manufacturers:

Adams
The budget brand of the day, Adam none-the-less made a dependable hat, and made sure that they copied the styles of the most popular hat makers . . .

Artel Hats

Bailey
Founded in 1922 by George Bailey, and still in production.

Barbisio
A classic Italian manufacturer, and a competitor of Borsalino. Closed in the 80s.

Bates
Edward Bates Ltd of London was founded on Jermyn Street at the turn of the last century, and remains in business today.

Beaver Brand
Founded in 1860 in St. Louis, Missouri, and based in New Haven, Missouri since 1928, this manufacturer, Formerly known as Gauss-Hunicke and Langenburg Hat Co is still in operation today.

Bee Hats
Originally located on Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis, but no longer in production as of 2000.

Biltmore
Founded in 1917 and still in operation

Boldt
Washington D.C.

Bond

Borsalino
A classic Italian manufacturer, still doing business today. The company began in 1857, in Alessandria Italy; when Giuseppe Borsalino set up the first artisan workshop for the production of felt hats.
When Giuseppe Borsalino died in 1900, his business employed almost a thousand workers and boasted an annual production of one million hats. By 1913 the company employed more than 2500 workers and reached an annual production of more than 2 million hats with its products reaching every corner of the world.

Bradford

Brent
The “house” brand for Montgomery Wards stores . . .

Brooks Brothers

Buckley

Cavalier

Cavanagh
One of the premiere hat-makers in the 1920s and 30s, Cavanagh remained a premier hat maker through the 1950s, and made excellent hats into the 60s.

The company was located in Norwalk, CT, where many of the the high end hatters were located: Knox, Crofut & Knapp, and Dobbs.

Dobbs and Cavanagh formed Cavanagh-Dobbs in 1928, and added Crofut & Knapp to the fold in 1929. Hat Corporation of America took over the company in 1932.

Caxton

Cervo
Cervo is fine Italian hatter, and has from time to time been contracted by Borsalino to make their felts and hats.

Champ
Considered a budget to mid-quality brand by many, Champ made a really nice quality hat, and though they were certainly not top-of-the-line, they had a lot of style!

Christy's of London
Founded by Miller Christy in a small courtyard shop off Gracechurch Street in the city of London in 1773, Christy’s is still manufacturing fine quality hats today.

Churchill
A line of fine quality hats, the Churchill line was bought out by Resistol in the 1950s, though Resistol continued to produce hats under that name for quite some time.

Citation

Courtney

Crofut & Knapp
The makers of Knapp Felt Hats in New York City. The company was actually located in Norwalk, CT, where many of the the high end hatters were located, including Knox, Cavanagh, and Dobbs.

The company merged with Cavanagh-Dobbs in 1929, which was, in turn, taken over by Hat Corporation of America in 1932.

Disney
Founded in 1885 in New York City

Dobbs
One of the premiere hat-makers in the 1930s and 1940s, and still around today. The company was located in Norwalk, CT, where many of the the high end hatters were located, including Knox, Crofut & Knapp, and Cavanagh.

Dobbs and Cavanagh formed Cavanagh-Dobbs in 1928, and added Crofut & Knapp to the fold in 1929. Hat Corporation of America took over the company in 1932.

Duff

Dunlap
Merged with Knox in 1918, though they continued to make hats under this brand name.

Elis

Empire State

Etchinson
This small North Carolina company traced its origins to 1866 but by the 1940s, they were probably getting their hats made through Lee and finished them out with their liners and sweatbands.

Francato Cappello

Flechet
France.

Foreman & Clark

Gage

Gelot

Guerra
Another very good Italian hat.

P. & C. Habig
Austria.

Hat Corporation of America (HatCo)
Founded in the 1930s by John Cavanagh, whose Park Avenue hat shop was among the most prestigious in the United States.

Hatters Guild

Imperial

Hardeman

Herbert Johnson
British

Knox
One of the premiere hat-makers in the day, along with Dobbs and Cavanagh, Knox positioned their hats as being the best money could buy, and had a knack for exploiting a market with slick advertising.

The company was located in Norwalk, CT, where many of the the high end hatters were located, including Cavanagh, Crofut & Knapp, and Dobbs.

Knox was bought out by Byer-Rolnick (Resistol) and eventually became part of HatCo in the 1960s.

Kristall

Lamson-Hubbard Co.
Boston.

Langenburg (Lion Hats)
Founded in 1860 Gauss-Hunicke in St. Louis, the Langenburg Hat Co is the forerunner of Beaver Brand hats.

Largomarsino
A South American manufacturer in Argentina, the company, still in business today.

Lee
Located in the hat-making center at Danbury, CT, Lee was probably the most prolific producer of hats for private labelling . . . such as the economic JC Penney (Marathon) line and such; while their own brand ran from mid-grade to fine quality.

James Locke & Co.
British

Lincoln Bennett & Co.
British

Look & Johnson

MacLachlan

Mallory
Owned by the E. A. Mallory Company, Mallory Hats was one of the oldest hat-makers in the United States when the brand was sold to Stetson in 1946.
The Mallory Factory in Danbury, Conneticut, was in production from 1860 until 1969, when it was sold to the Danbury Hat Company which filed for bankruptcy in 1987.

Mayser
Germany.

Kevin McAndrew

Manhattan

Marathon
Made by Lee for J.C. Penney’s.

Melton

Meyer

Montecristi

Monterray

Morfelt

Mossant
The Mossant factory was in Bourg-de-Péage, France, and manufactured some of the finest hats in the early decades of the 20th century. The brand was considered the pinaacle in France and but was also well-known in the United States for most of the twentieth century. The company was founded by Charles Mossant in the nineteenth century, and by 1929 more than 2,000 hats a day were being produced; half of them were directly shipped to the U.S. Hat production ended in 1998.

Optimo

Palco

Panizza
The Panizza Headwear Company is among the oldest companies in Italy, having been manufacturing headwear since 1898.

Peschel

Pedigree

Perfect Hats

Pilgrim

Portis

Puerto Fino
Founded 50 years ago, this South American manufacturer is in Columbia and is still in business today.

Resistol
Founded in Dallas Texas by financier E.R. Byer and hat maker Harry Rolnick in 1927 the firm of Byer-Rolnick produced men's felt hats in Western and Dress stylings, under the newly created brand name "Resistol Hats," meaning to resist-all weather.

Distribution was limited to Texas and Oklahoma early on, but by the late 1930s was nation-wide. Byer-Rolnick was eventually bought by Hatco in the 1960s.

Robert Hall

Rothschild

Royston

Rundle & White
Established in the mid-1800s in Danbury, Conneticut.

Sarnoff

Scala
The brand is now owned by Dorfman-Pacific.

Schoble
Frank Schoble & Co was founded in Pennsylvania in the 1880s.

Scott

Selco
Founded in 1898 in Brooklyn, New York, Selco traced its root back to 1799 and the Italian and Czech firm of Selentino. They manufactured hats into the 1950s, and there is still a Selco store in Brooklyn today.

Stetson, John B.
John Batterson Stetson was born in East Orange, New Jersey in 1830. His father, Stephen Stetson, was a successful hatter and taught his children the trade. Stetson developed tuberculosis as a young man, and moved west hoping to recover. He first settled in St. Joseph, Missouri, and later moved west following the Gold Rush to California, before finally returning to Philadelphia to try his hand at the hat manufacturing trade.

Stetson found the eastern hat market difficult, and so turned his attention to the Westerners . . . marketing hats based upon styles he had seen and developed during his own travels. By 1872, he was also marketing dress hats in his own catalog, and by the turn of the twentieth century he had the world's largest hat factory.

Although John Stetson died in 1906, his company followed men's fashions into the twentieth century, manufacturing top hats, bowlers, homburgs, fedoras, and trilbys, as well as straw hats in both western and dress styles.

By the early 1950s, there were fewer dress hat wearers, and Stetson has since focused primarily on their western hats.

Stetson, Stephen
Of New York.

Stevens

Supernatural

Swann

Tilly

Trimble
Located in Orange, New Jersey, the Trimble Hat Company was a popular hat manufacturing company during the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Wasicka's
of Cudahy, Wisconsin.

Willoughby

Wormser
Wormser was considered a mid-range hat, though several were just as good as any vintage Stetson or Mallory. They had different levels of quality.
Worth and Worth Founded in 1922.
Amazing how many hat makers there were back then! :cool2:
 

johnnyphi

Sponsoring Affiliate
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899
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God Bless Texas!
Grandpa Schoble...

I just got an email from a woman in New Jersey who says her mother-in-law is Mr. Schoble's daughter.

How cool is that?

I'll do my best to get more information, and I'll post it on the Lounge ASAP.
 

DNO

One Too Many
Messages
1,815
Location
Toronto, Canada
I just found this terrific thread. I have a Scott & Co. homburg. From the label, it's evident that Scott had a royal warrant ("By appointment to H.M. the King") and was located on Old Bond Street, Piccadilly. That, unfortunately, is all I know.
 

duffenough

New in Town
Messages
1
Location
United States
Duff Hats

Hi - I am hoping someone can help me...and maybe I can provide more info to help in your search for details about hat makers. I am the great grand-daughter of the manufacturer of Duff Hat Manufacturing Company from Philadelphia, PA. My relatives have more information, and we have some old Duff hats, including hat molds and the like. All I know is that Jimmy Durante used to wear Duff hats. That's the big claim to fame that I know about. haha! I hope to gather as much info from my family this holiday get-together in order to get a really good sense of the history of Duff Hats. I stumbled across this site in my search for how to find more Duff hats in the world, and to maybe learn a little more about them. If anyone has information to share, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks!!
Laura
 

J.B.

Practically Family
Messages
677
Location
Hollywood
Hello, Laura!

Although I'm not familiar with your family's hat company, Jimmy Durante's lids are definitely some of the most iconic fedoras!

So anyway -- I wanted to say a big :welcome: and also ask that you please find out as much as you can over the holidays to piece together for the historians here. Oh, and try to post pictures to document the hats you have on hand!

...I wonder if anyone ever sat on their Duff?! :peace:

JUST KIDDING!
(I'm sorry. I had to ask before someone beat me to it!) :D
 

Rudie

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,069
Location
Berlin
Bartenders?

I find myself returning to this excellent thread again and again. Any chance you bartenders could add this to the sticky list?
Thanks!
 

mikespens

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,913
Location
Tacoma, Wa
Signes is a Spanish Co that is sold in the US through Village Hat Shop. They have a Spanish language website:

http://www.sombrerossignes.com/

Village Hat Shop provides a very brief story and some video: http://www.villagehatshop.com/signes-fine-mens-hats-from-europe.html

Not a very old company, it was established in 1968. I purchased the 100% beaver fedora from VHS and it was a very fine hat, especially considering what it cost. I ended up returning it only because the crown was too low for me and the head size was slightly smaller than standard (if there is one).
 

Rudie

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,069
Location
Berlin
Please add it to this thread. It would be nice to have a place to go to for info about all the different makers.
 
Messages
17,285
Location
Maryland
As Robert (RLK) noted this thread has problems. It might be better to put something together offline. I would be willing work on the German and Austrian sections.
 

JAVIER

Practically Family
Messages
544
Location
Where's my Hat... ? in Upstate NY!
Wynewood, labeled and advertized as Genuine Fur Felt & Selected Fur Felt, the company goes back C1950 or earlier,they where part of the United Haters Cap & Millinery Workers International Union. Also as per Evening Hearld Rock Hill S.C. Sep. 16th 1954. They sold for $7.50 with a discount price $4.98 at Efird's department store See AD http://news.google.com/newspapers?n...mQ0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=nKQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6612,5399712

Anyone else have info on this company?
 

DNO

One Too Many
Messages
1,815
Location
Toronto, Canada
Some additions:

"Birkdale" was a trade name used by the Timothy Eaton Company in Canada for their hats from at least the 1930's to the 1970's (based on ads I have found in various newspapers). Eaton's was a large department store in Canada that had stores right across the country. The company was founded in 1869 and closed up shop in 1999.

"Dunley" is a Canadian hat company as well but my research into this firm is in its early days. I have a tan coloured velour stingy brim with this company's logo.

"Crown Cap" is a Canadian firm founded in 1934 as a cap company. It is still in business in Winnipeg.
 
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