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Fedoras in the 19th Century.

rlk

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Tracing the term's origins as applied to hats. Earliest history of the soft felt hat with projecting curving brim and creased crown that were called "Fedora". A spot for ads, photos, articles and maybe a few actual hats.
 

rlk

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Fédora the Play

Early Reviews

Unfortunately N.Y.Times scans crap out occasionally...
Paris Premiere Dec. 1882
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9B03E2DC153DE533A25756C0A9679C94629FD7CF

Convoluted plot not hat discussion.

New York 1887
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9405EEDD1630E633A25756C2A9659C94669FD7CF

Can't read a lot but some brief discussion of hats in the audience.

In the USA:
4785224948_5cfa79764a_b.jpg
 

rlk

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Chuck Bobuck said:
The first modern fedora appeared in France, onstage in an 1882 play by Victorien Sardou (1831–1908). The play was called Fedora,...
(snip)
As Fedora, Bernhardt wore a stylish soft felt hat with a crease in the crown. Bernhardt's many fans were charmed and began to wear the new hat, called a fedora in honor of the star's role. While fedoras were first popularly worn by women in France, Germany, and England, they were soon adopted by men as an alternative to the stiff bowler hats, or derby hats, that were the most common men's hats at the time.


I can't help but wonder, If the play "Fedora" triggered women to wear a fedora style hat, how did men jump on board with the idea? I wouldn't think men of that era would be too keen on wearing a hat that was popular for women to wear. I suppose by the time they did, the play was ancient history.

I Can find a number of photos of Sarah Bernhardt as Fédora but none with a felt hat unfortunately. Hat was probably actually something associated more with a men's Tyrolean and her influence was more an International popularization and name association(think Kleenex or Jello), not a new and original style concept(except perhaps for women).

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First USA performance opened October 1, 1883 NYC
Fanny Davenport brought an English language version to the USA in Oct. 1883 and toured. Playing repeatedly in NYC and other cities during the decade. Bernhardt came in 1887(in French).
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A0DE7D71530E433A2575BC1A9629C94629FD7CF

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Again many photos and none with a felt hat.

Well, a possibility with Fanny Davenport(went through 99 photos from Theater Collection)
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AMUSEMENTS.; THE SYMPHONY SOCIETY'S CONCERT. METROPOLITAN OPERA-HOUSE. ACADEMY OF MUSIC. MUSIC AND MUSICIANS. PLAYS AND ACTORS.

November 18, 1883, Wednesday
Page 9, 3066 words
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rlk

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By 1884 Advertisement of Men's Fedora Hats are common(Pay per view Chicago and Boston papers). Little seems to be accurate in the often cited Fedora early history.
Fedora style seems most often applied to women's vests and trim more than hats and the men's hats seem to pick up the name almost immediately.
 

buler

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1829 reference...maybe....

Its a limited preview, but the Encyclopedia Americana International Edition listed as 1829 in google books shows an entry "fedora(hat)". Just not sure that the 1829 directly references the year of that Encyclopedia or the year that Americana Corp. started producing Encyclopedias. [huh]


Never mind. I found a full view of this and 1829 was the "first published" date for the Encyclopedia.....

B
 

rlk

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The Soft Hat

The Connecticut magazine, Volume 7 edited by William Farrand Felch, George C. Atwell, H. Phelps Arms, Francis Trevelyan Miller

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Clothier and Furnisher 24 1895
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Fedora seems to be the popular term for the "Tourist" class of hat to the trade
 

Brad Bowers

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Great stuff!:eusa_clap :eusa_clap

Early Fedoras look much like the Homburg, but I'm guessing they're much softer, earning them a distinction.

This is certainly going to be the most definitive source on the Fedora.

Brad
 

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