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Fedoras in the 19th Century.

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Interesting article. At this point they are still taking the English lead and not so accurate (should be Homburg not Hamburg, who are the strangers? I assume tourists.) regarding Continental European trends. I looked through the entire 1911 volume of "The Hatter's Gazette" (the English "The American Hatter") at the Library of Congress and there is was virtually no mention of Continental European soft felt styles (only sales numbers). There was mention of English soft felts (mostly in the Homburg style) but English stiff felts dominated. For example this was the time (around 1910) when Austrian Velours were becoming popular in America.
 
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fedoracentric

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I love the old terminology in the old articles. Like in the one buler posted they called one of the colors "peachblow." Seriously? What the heck color is that name supposed to be describing?? You see odd things like that all the time in old articles, words or ways of describing something that almost makes no sense at all now.

Of course, I also find this frustrating when such odd words appear in the old advertisements, too. We get weird words that are hard to quantify when we are trying to discern history and facts.
 

TheDane

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I fully agree, but actually I find many of todays ads just as "exotic". Color names for hats and ribbon most often seem chosen by the flip of a coin - or by a question to the marketing manager's wife. One thing is absolutely sure: Hat companies do not employ people, who's education treated subjects like "chromotology" ... but very likely they employ some poets(?) ;)
 
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PEACHBLOW

1: a pale orange yellow that is slightly redder, lighter, and stronger than sunset and redder and stronger than freestone —called also fakir
2: peach bloom 2
3 or peachblow glass : a late 19th century opaque and often satinized art glass of graduated color which shades from red or rose to yellow or pale blue or white
 

KingAndrew

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Thank you, Alan!

We can also note that this was a journal devoted to fashion. Men's fashion, but still fashion. As a result, there will be resort to terminology and distinctions that might not mean much to those outside the business or not among the devoted fashionistas of the time. Reading today's fashion trade publications will provide you with some other head-scratcher terms. Of course, imagine how confused people who aren't hat afficianadoes must be when they see our discussions of whether a hat is a homburg, a lord's hat, or a fedora.
 
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J. Hückel´s Söhne Extra "Loutre" found by Garrett. A beautiful + very rare 19th Century example!

15425835563_31c9bb4bd8_b.jpg


More photos.

http://germanaustrianhats.invisionzone.com/index.php?/topic/6-johann-hueckel%C2%B4s-soehne-hueckel-hutfabrik-weilheim/page-9#entry1080
 

jlee562

I'll Lock Up
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Hmm...I've seen that ad before! That's very cool. There is so much knowledge buried in TFL...if only it could be synthesized into a men's headwear wiki.
 
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Funkytown, USA
As of this very month, The Oxford English Dictionary appears to be trying to correct the record regarding the history of the Fedora. I wonder if the Lounge had any influence there.

Brad
~The Hatted Professor

I believe that is the same Knox ad you posted, Brad, so I would say...yes!

Hmm...I've seen that ad before! That's very cool. There is so much knowledge buried in TFL...if only it could be synthesized into a men's headwear wiki.

Your lips to God's ears, my man.
 

facade

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As of this very month, The Oxford English Dictionary appears to be trying to correct the record regarding the history of the Fedora. I wonder if the Lounge had any influence there.

Brad
~The Hatted Professor

"It is in this atmosphere of Fédora frenzy that Knox the Hatter, the first known advertiser of the modern fedora hat, launched his new range of men’s hats."

I'm going have to go ahead and disagree with the Oxford folks here. Soft hats existed before Knox's "Fedora". Center creased hats existed before his "Fedora". I think it is likely we can credit Knox with starting the use of the term fedora in the US. However the hat he introduced has little to do with modern fedoras. His hat seems to eventually be the inspiration for "the fedora shape" which was applied to many hats, regardless of material or brim treatment, that had a deep center crease. Of course now the term fedora has expanded to include many other shapes not really linked to Knox's creation.

If Knox felt they were truly the originator of a unique style, would they not have advertised themselves as such? The Knox's were shameless self-promoters. I find it hard to believe they would have missed such an opportunity.
 

Brad Bowers

I'll Lock Up
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4,187
Nowhere in here do I read it as the OED is saying Knox invented the soft felt hat with center crease, just that he was the first, as far as we can tell, to name a men's hat after the play. They're merely debunking the idea that the fedora was born out of a woman's hat. I think perhaps their use of the word modern implies that the hat remained unchanged since 1883, but I'm not certain that's what they meant. As for the transition to the fedora with a snap-brim, I documented that to the late-1920s in another thread.

Brad
~The Hatted Professor
 
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facade

A-List Customer
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Conklin, NY
Nowhere in here do I read it as the OED is saying Knox invented the soft felt hat with center crease, just that he was the first, as far as we can tell, to name a men's hat after the play. They're merely debunking the idea that the fedora was born out of a woman's hat. I think perhaps their use of the word modern implies that the hat remained unchanged since 1883, but I'm not certain that's what they meant. As for the transition to the fedora with a snap-brim, I documented that to the late-1920s in another thread.

Brad
~The Hatted Professor

The article included an ad stating that Knox is introducing a "new and perfect soft hat". The OED incorrectly states that Knox's hat is "a hat recognizably answering to the modern description". Further the author later repeats the conclusion that Knox is "the first known advertiser of the modern fedora hat". To me it is not a far stretch to interpret this as Knox introduced the modern fedora.

I agree they are debunking the woman's hat myth. But I see them potentially creating a new replacement myth. Knox created the fedora.
 

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