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Davis Hat Co.

K.D. Lightner

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
I have a bid on a hat on ebay that is from supposedly from the 40's, it was the seller's father's hat.

He states that the fedora was purchased from Miller's Dry Good Store in a small town in Texas and cost $8.98. It was made by the Davis Hat Co., Dallas, Texas.

Does anyone here at the Lounge know anything about a Davis Hat Co? I 've never heard of them, but don't know about a lot of the hat makers in the 40's or 50's.

Thanks,

karol
 

Uncle Vern

One of the Regulars
Messages
171
I live in Central Texas, and I've seen a couple of Davis hats in antique malls. One from Davis Hats in Dallas, and another from Davis Hats in San Antonio. Both were Open Road types, and somewhat coarse. My impression was that there's no such thing as a "Davis" hat, and they were probably made by Stetson or some other mass producer and branded with the Davis logo.
 

K.D. Lightner

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,354
Location
Des Moines, IA
Holly -- the seller lives in Rowlett, TX, states that the hat was from Miller Dry Goods Store, which was in a little town called Mt. Calm, located on Highway 31 between Hillsboro and Waco. The town has no stores now.

The hat sweat band states "Styled by Davis Hats, Dallas, Texas."

Uncle Vern -- that was my guess, too. Don't have too much money invested in the hat, and may not win it anyway, but I was curious because I had never heard of Davis Hats.


karol
 

Uncle Vern

One of the Regulars
Messages
171
I used to buy and sell vintage saxophones. There are dozens of brand names floating around, but when you get down to it, they were all made by a few companies and re-branded according to the seller's wishes. We call those saxes "Stencil Horns," because they've had some other logo stenciled onto the bell. But if you know your horns, you can quickly zero in and identify the maker. I suspect that many vintage hats have a similar history. It's just not believeable that all those tiny stores in small towns actually made hats--most likely, they were ordered and then the sweatband was stamped with the seller's logo. Just look at all the Open Roads floating around eBay with different brand names attached to them. I guess we could call them "Stencil Hats."
 

mwmiller87

New in Town
Messages
4
Location
New York, NY
S. G. Davis Hat Company information

K.D. Lightner said:
I have a bid on a hat on ebay that is from supposedly from the 40's, it was the seller's father's hat.

He states that the fedora was purchased from Miller's Dry Good Store in a small town in Texas and cost $8.98. It was made by the Davis Hat Co., Dallas, Texas.

Does anyone here at the Lounge know anything about a Davis Hat Co? I 've never heard of them, but don't know about a lot of the hat makers in the 40's or 50's.

Thanks,

karol

Karol, I know your post was long ago, but I just came across it, and I do have a hat with the same markings, exactly. "Davis Hat Co., Dallas, Texas," and "Styled by Davis Hats, Dallas, Texas." The full name of the company was S.G. Davis Hat Company, which functioned as a wholesale hat dealer in Dallas from 1900-1928, founded by--you guessed it--S.G. Davis. The company built a grand warehouse building just south of downtown Dallas, then the garment district, in 1913; this building was recently renovated. (2007). It's a wonderful period building.

Since the company was a wholesaler, I would guess that means it distributed hats made by bona fide manufacturers, and then imprinted its own name on them, the way retail hatters commonly do, just as Uncle Vern states. The one I have looks very much like a Stetson Open Road, for example. (What's more it is 3X beaver, and a stunning lid. I don't think this was made by a small-time maker.)

After 1928, the Davis Company apparently continued to exist, but I cannot document it farther. Probably it would be necessary to research Dallas municipal records, such as tax archives, and the like.

Further clues: if you look at the marking on one of the photos I have uploaded, the typeface style is clearly 1930s or *maybe* 1940s deco.

Wish I could help further, but I just have this circumstantial evidence.

Did you ever find out more on your own about the hat?


Davis 3X beaver...Open Road?
771609325_MRc8A-L-1.jpg


Deco style imprint:
http://tasha87.smugmug.com/EBay/VintageHats/DSCF6130/771609509_gadWe-L.jpg

From NY Times archive, 1904
http://tasha87.smugmug.com/EBay/VintageHats/new-york-times-1904/771609595_W3b3a-M.gif
 

CONELRAD

One of the Regulars
Messages
263
Location
The Metroplex
I'm afraid I'm going to have to revive this thread again after all these years to post this:

I picked this up at a Burleson, Texas antique mall for $4.33 in mediocre condition. I've since given it a naphtha bath and a few home repairs to the liner and sweatband.

Made, or at least distributed by, Davis Hats.

 

CONELRAD

One of the Regulars
Messages
263
Location
The Metroplex
By all means revive a thread.
It makes a future search much easier.
If like post are made in the correct thread... you have only one thread with Davis Hats....instead of many threads with only a few post in each thread.

Well, that's entirely true, but I've been to some forums that say things like, "this thread had been inactive for however many days, are you sure you want to post here?"
 
Last edited:

BR Gordon

One Too Many
Messages
1,152
Location
New Mexico
I'm afraid I'm going to have to revive this thread again after all these years to post this:

I picked this up at a Burleson, Texas antique mall for $4.33 in mediocre condition. I've since given it a naphtha bath and a few home repairs to the liner and sweatband.

Made, or at least distributed by, Davis Hats.

That is one heck of a $4.33 hat.

Your not going to find a forum with members that are more friendly, or eager to teach, than TFL.
 
Last edited:

CONELRAD

One of the Regulars
Messages
263
Location
The Metroplex
There's a Davis "Cotton Bowl 1957 Syracuse vs. TCU" Open Road style fedora right now on eBay with an obscene starting bid. I'm not going to post the link because I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post eBay links around here, but it's there, just search for what I said if you want to see it.
 

LonnieW

New in Town
Messages
22
Location
Plano, TX
Just go hold of the top portion of SG Davis Hat Co letter head, which is pretty stunning in itself. The building is 800 Jackson St, Dallas (I was raised in Dallas and am familiar with the bldg), which Davis built in 1913.

t9y0r6.jpg
 

hutch

Familiar Face
Messages
54
Location
California Bay Area
Thanks for posting the letter head LonnieW. I always wonder if the old buildings still exist and if so, what they look like. Here is what 800 Jackson Street, Dallas, TX looks like today (from Google Maps).
800jackdallas.jpg
 

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