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Fedoras in the 19th Century.

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One of my issues is that "Fedora" wasn't always an international hat term. I know in Germany and Austria it was not used up to WWII and probably for a long time after (the first Indiana Jones movie?). My guess is that it was the same in other European countries.
 
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KingAndrew

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Brad, do you ave the link to the thread about the beginnings of the association between "fedora" and snap-brim hats? I seemed to have missed the post and searching on Google or the Lounge using "fedora snap brim brad bowers 1920" isn't working very well.

Thanks!
 

KingAndrew

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It is interesting that the OED says we have no records of the hats worn by the men in the play, since I read somewhere the claim that the soft felt hat worn by the leading man was the reason for the Fedora name to be first associated with such headgear. I can't find his name now, but I recall there being a picture in which he wore the older "Homburg" style of hat. Does anyone have details?
 
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Looking back through this thread I found it interesting that this article from November 22, 1883 - Sacramento daily union-record mentions the Knox "Fedora" as "Tyrolean in shape, peculiar curving brim". This is only a couple months after the the Knox September 26, 1883 - The New York Sun announcement. Both were posted by Dinerman (Spencer).

November 22, 1883 - Sacramento daily union-record

fedora2.jpg


September 26, 1883 - The New York Sun

thefedora2.jpg
 
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facade

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Looking back through this thread I found it interesting that this article from November 22, 1883 - Sacramento daily union-record mentions the Knox "Fedora" as "Tyrolean in shape, peculiar curving brim". This is only a couple months after the the Knox September 26, 1883 - The New York Sun announcement. Both were posted by Dinerman (Spencer)."

I think the J. Hückel hat you posted in this thread was likely very similar to Knox's original "Fedora".
 
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Yes that old / rare JHS Velour of Garrett's (but not made for the American market) has a similar form / shape (not finish) to Edwards VII Homburg. The American popular city dress soft felt styles of the late 1800s mostly came from Europe.

I am skeptical of the French designer claim (made up French connection to the play) in the Knox "Fedora" announcement (total marketing hype) but who knows for sure? The Sacramento Union - Record description makes to sense to me (just a guess based on European popular soft felts styles of the time).

Here is another thread that will make your head hurt (RLK's (Robert's) comments are spot on in my opinion ).

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?50185-It-s-about-time-we-define-quot-fedora-quot
 
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Messages
16,699
Location
Maryland
It is interesting that the OED says we have no records of the hats worn by the men in the play, since I read somewhere the claim that the soft felt hat worn by the leading man was the reason for the Fedora name to be first associated with such headgear. I can't find his name now, but I recall there being a picture in which he wore the older "Homburg" style of hat. Does anyone have details?

RLK (Robert) posted this article (no photo and a long time after 1883) at the time when this was first discussed here. My guess is more misinformation (very common) regarding the actor connection but again who really knows?

4810376620_458cba7b70_b.jpg
 
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tropicalbob

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Thanks to everyone for a truly interesting thread. Now, I wish I could find out more about Mr. Sassaman and his perfectly healthy five-footed pig.
 

facade

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Yes that old / rare JHS Velour of Garrett's (but not made for the American market) has a similar form / shape (not finish) to Edwards VII Homburg. The American popular city dress soft felt styles of the late 1800s mostly came from Europe.

I am skeptical of the French designer claim (made up French connection to the play) in the Knox "Fedora" announcement (total marketing hype) but who knows for sure? The Sacramento Union - Record description makes to sense to me (just a guess based on European popular soft felts styles of the time).

Here is another thread that will make your head hurt (RLK's (Robert's) comments are spot on in my opinion ).

http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?50185-It-s-about-time-we-define-quot-fedora-quot

My conjectured history of the fedora

In its initial stage, The Fedora was a model name such as Open Road or Stratoliner. While the model may have enjoyed some initial success, it did not appear to have enjoyed long-term success and the name was dropped from Knox's lineup. Over time one of the major features of the original Fedora, a deep center crease, became increasingly more popular. Eventually becoming the dominate style. In this stage the fedora was what we might call a bash (c-crown, teardrop etc.). Those in the trade used the term "the fedora shape" to describe hats with a center crease that did not already fit into another hat style (such as Homburg). As "the fedora shape" isn't a great advertising term, retailors referred to such hats simply as fedoras. Over time the name proved so popular that it grew to encompass many more hats than simply those with a center crease. Material, brim size, or bindings have never been relevant to the term fedora. Such things are simply the whims of fashion and devotees.
 
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I think the Sacramento Union Record description makes the most sense for the Knox the Hatter's "Fedora" of 1883. Similar form and crease as Edward VII Homburg (in this case a German hat style -> soft felt, tall tapered center creased crown, German curled brim with binding). I think Brad's time line (from the other thread) of what happened after makes sense but this is just my opinion.
 

Brad Bowers

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These are the two earliest depictions of the Fedora I can find, and they match up favorably to the Tyrolean style. The one on the left is from January 1884, though that's the best I can make the scan. The one on the right is April 1884. Both are within just a few months of the Knox introduction. These could very well be the Knox model, or they could be a knockoff. The name is the selling point, not necessarily the hatter. By the Fall of 1884, it seems like nearly every retailer is carrying a hat named Fedora, and it even shows up in colloquial use in newspapers that year, so the customer adoption rate is probably only outpaced by the rate of public awareness.


15 - Los Angeles Herald Jan 20 1884 p3.jpg 16 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette April 3 1884 p8.jpg

Brad
~The Hatted Professor
 

tropicalbob

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I'm just rereading Thomas Pynchon's "Against the Day." (1992) Very early in the novel he has a character sporting a fedora at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Pynchon's research is always remarkable and spot-on, often little things that very few folks would notice.
 

Short Balding Guy

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Bump. I re-read parts of this thread last night and finished this morning. Excellent scans, article references and pics. I followed a couple of the readings to on-line pages of American Hatter and enjoyed the readings.

For the curious, you will not be disappointed.

Curious Eric -
 
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Bump. I re-read parts of this thread last night and finished this morning. Excellent scans, article references and pics. I followed a couple of the readings to on-line pages of American Hatter and enjoyed the readings.

For the curious, you will not be disappointed.

Curious Eric -

I love this stuff! ONe of the reasons I keep coming back.

That, and the stellar personalinties!
 

buler

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Just had a nice visit with Robert (RLK) last week. Our talk reminded me of this thread which hasn't been bumped in many years. Really should be a sticky.

Reading the whole thread is necessary to get a good feel of the origin of the fedora.

There is also a continuation (part 2) thread here -> https://www.thefedoralounge.com/threads/fedoras-first-decade-of-the-20th-century.49010/

B
Greetings, Bill, and thank you for your thread re-kindling!
I’ve often wondered about Robert and his tremendous collection. Above and beyond hats, I hope he is well. Is he still actively collecting?
 

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