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Dating Vintage Stetsons by Liner: A Field Guide

Discussion in 'Hats' started by jimmy the lid, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
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    I have always thought that a dedicated thread illustrating various Stetson liners would be an extremely useful tool in helping to date vintage Stetson lids. I think it's hard to draw bright lines as to what particular years any given liner was in use, since I would bet that there was plenty of overlap along the way. That being said, I think it would be extremely useful to provide photos of liners where we have some reasonable degree of certainty as to the date of the lid itself (i.e., from receipts, date stamps on the sweat, etc.). The end result will be a kind of field guide that will provide photos of liners that can be tied to particular points in time. So, when someone acquires a vintage lid, they could scroll through this thread to compare their liner to the liners featured here. Of course, there will be other factors to consider (like price, sweatband, style, etc.) -- but I think this thread should provide a useful tool for helping to date lids. I also think it might be useful to show a photo of the Stetson logo on the sweatband in conjunction with any particular liner, since the combination of liner and sweat may help to zero in on a particular time period. Any other details (i.e., material of protective cover, if any) will also be helpful. Come to think of it, providing a photo of the size tag, as well, will really help to provide a fairly comprehensive set of info!

    Here's one to get things started -- a Royal Stetson Week-Ender. This one is from the johnnyphi auctions, so we know that, at the latest, it dates to the late 40s. In this case, though, the price reflected on the liner tag is $7.50, indicating that this lid likely dates to the early 40s. The liner tag itself reads: "The lining in this hat is rayon satin of celanese yarn." Also note that the liner seam is at the side of the hat, and not at the rear by the size tag. Finally, the red ribbon running under the crest in the logo contains the phrase "American Manufacture."

    Early to Mid 40s Royal Stetson

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    Cheers,
    JtL
     
    M Hatman likes this.
  2. RBH

    RBH Bartender

    Messages:
    14,439
    Location:
    Crowley's Ridge Arkansas
    Thanks Jim.. I can already tell this will be a most useful thread!
     
  3. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Thanks, Rusty. :)

    Here's a Royal DeLuxe Stetson that was purchased in 1948 at the Stetson Philadelphia store. Note that this lid also features a liner seam at the side of the hat (versus the rear), as well as the "celanese yarn" tag. Although it is hard to see in these photos, the red ribbon running under the crest in the logo contains the phrase "American Manufacture." The liner has a protective oil silk covering:

    1948 Royal DeLuxe Stetson

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  4. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    This Royal DeLuxe OR comes from a store that was open from 1956 to 1964. The price tag indicates a price of $12.50 -- so this lid pre-dates the price change to $12.95 that happened sometime in the late 50's. I think it's reasonable to conclude that this lid therefore dates to the 1956 (ish ;)) timeframe. The liner protector is plastic.

    While the design of this logo is the same as that in the 1948 Royal DeLuxe posted above, note that the 1948 Royal DeLuxe (as well as the early 40's Royal Stetson) features a fairly distinctive use of bright gold in the logo that is gone by 1956. This particular feature may wind up being useful in terms of dating. For example, once we see a wider variety of liner logos, it may be possible to say that logos using the bright gold are more likely to indicate a lid from the 40's (this kind of conclusion will be refined as we go). We'll see...;)

    1956 Royal DeLuxe

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  5. Don Dahlberg

    Don Dahlberg Familiar Face

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Southcentral PA
    This is my first contribution to the board and I do not know how to use it yet.

    The Royal Stetson design shown in the first pictured above was featured in an advertisement for Young's Hat shops in the New York Times on November 16, 1940 on page 16.

    The price was given as $10. "From the quality of the fur to the luxurious inner-details and Mode Edge, it well merits its 'Royal' title. In addition, at Young's your Stetson carries a Kushon-Fit leather that conforms to the oval of your head..and you may have your choice of 25 individual hatbands. The Royal Stetson is presented in two weights: the 'Fallweight.' and the 'Vita-Felt,' the latter being a lighter weight for men accustomedto the finest of foreign hats."

    I have a Stetson Concourse with the same logo on the liner. The Concourse was first advertised in the New York Times on Nov. 5, 1953 and last advertised on Oct. 31, 1955. So this logo spanned at least from 1940 to 1953 and perhaps longer.

    I have noticed that advertisements in the New York Times are very informative. They are not as nice looking as advertisements in major magazines like Life, but they appeared several times a month and privide a great deal of dated information.

    Don
     
  6. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    Welcome to the Lounge, Don. Thanks for the info. I'm not sure I have ever heard of a Stetson "Concourse." Hmmmm. So, if the logo in your Concourse matches exactly to the first post in this thread, then it appears that the use of this logo may have extended into the early 50's. Does your liner have any sort of protective covering?

    A choice of 25 different hatbands? :eek: OK, that's pretty interesting.

    Also interesting that, from a marketing standpoint, the lightweight Stetsons were compared to the European felts (like Borsalino, I imagine).

    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  7. Don Dahlberg

    Don Dahlberg Familiar Face

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Southcentral PA
    On closer inspection of my Consourse, it appears that the gold has been replaced with a greenish brown in logo.

    The top of the liner has a clear, shiny plastic protection.

    Don
     
  8. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,647
    Location:
    USA
    Whippet Liners

    So, here's an example of how the "field guide" approach may come in handy...

    The first couple of photos below are from a Whippet for which I have no date. Note that, in terms of color and design, the logo mirrors the early 40's Royal Stetson logo in the first post in this thread. The liner has the protective oil silk covering. The size tag is identical to the tag appearing in the 1948 Royal DeLuxe posted above.

    Putting all of this together, I think it's fair to say that this is an example of a 40's Whippet liner (I'd probably peg it at mid to late 40's):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Now, here is another Whippet for which I have no date. The price tag on this lid is for $10.95, so it would appear that this lid, at the earliest, dates to the late 50's. Notice the difference in the appearance of the logo. The liner protective covering is plastic. My guess is that this Whippet liner is more typical of Whippets from the mid/late 50's:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  9. Don Dahlberg

    Don Dahlberg Familiar Face

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Southcentral PA
    This last Royal Stetson logo shown on the Whippet is itentical to the one in my Concourse that dates from 1953-5.

    The Whippet is advertised from 1945 to 1955 for $10 in the NYT. There are no other advertisements for the Whippet from 1956 through at least 1960.

    Don
     
  10. HamletJSD

    HamletJSD A-List Customer

    Messages:
    468
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I'm not sure I can be any help, but here's what I've got.

    My OR has a peachy colored liner that I am sure is pretty common. It has a brown sweat and it's my understanding that this puts it before a certain date, but I don't know what that date is. It's labeled as a "Royal Deluxe Stetson."
    Sorry no pics of the inside, but I haven't found a place that'll let me upload from the iPhone yet.

    Jacob
     
  11. johnnyphi

    johnnyphi Sponsoring Affiliate

    Messages:
    899
    Location:
    God Bless Texas!
    Photos of Johnnyphi Stetson Liners

    I went through and "tagged" all of the Stetson liners on my Photobucket album, so you can view all of the liners at the same time, in the same place.

    Here is the link: http://s261.photobucket.com/albums/ii79/johnnyphi/?action=tags&current=Stetson+-+Liners%2FLogos

    UPDATE: For JTL and the die-hard Stetson fans, here is a slide-show with all of the Johnnyphi Stetson Liners and Sweatbands

    You can click each particular hat to see the full-size picture, along with additional photos of each hat.

    All of the Johnnyphi Stetsons date back to 1948 or earlier. The Standard Stetson, Junior Stetson and Stetson Special all appear to date back to the early 40's or late 30's.

    I hope this helps.
     
  12. jimmy the lid

    jimmy the lid I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Fantastic, johnnyphi. Thanks for putting all of that together! :)

    Cheers,
    JtL
     
  13. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Absolutely! Thanks for sharing that with us and doing the work it required. :eusa_clap :eusa_clap :eusa_clap
     
  14. Levallois

    Levallois Practically Family

    Messages:
    645
    I just got the following Imperial Stetson and wanted to try to date it based on the liner.

    [​IMG]

    It looks alot like the early to mid 1940s Royal Weekender liner with the use of gold, the American Manufacture in the red ribbon and no protective cover over the center logo. However, the liner seam is at the back and the sweatband might be a bit wider. I would appreciate any opinions as to the age of my hat.

    Many thanks to jimmy the lid for starting this thread!!

    John
     
  15. GWD

    GWD One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,636
    Location:
    Evergreen, Co
    I would say 40's also. But I'm unsure if it's late or early 40's.
     
  16. Levallois

    Levallois Practically Family

    Messages:
    645
    Thank you for the response! 1940s is good enough for me. My wife says the hat matches my personality. She refuses to elaborate so I'm not sure how she meant that?

    By the way, you look very dapper in your avatar now that you've substituted the bowler.

    John
     
  17. MattJH

    MattJH One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,388
    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Based on this information, my Whippet is from the mid-to-late 40's, yes?

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Ande1964

    Ande1964 Practically Family

    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Kansas
    Whippet Liner

    For what it's worth, DJ, that is the same liner I have in my Whippet, which was sold in Philly in December of 1950. My liner, though, has the matte finish on the crown part of the liner instead of the glossy.

    Anj
     
  19. Unlucky Berman

    Unlucky Berman One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    180
    Location:
    Germany
    [​IMG]

    Stetson Ivy League and thanks to Lefty I can say it is from the mid of the 50s. I will make later a bigger pic of the liner and post it here. But I think you can see it is similiar to the one from the whippet above.
     
  20. carouselvic

    carouselvic My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,840
    Location:
    Kansas
    Oil silk still used as late as 1952

    Jimmy I have a Royal De Luxe Belmont model, sold at the factory store on April 18 1952 for $12.50. It the same as the liner of yours in post #3 of this thread with the oil silk cover, but my hat has the seam in the back. The leather sweat is 1 7/8 wide.
     

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