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Lee Black, White, Red Label... What Did it Mean?

HatsEnough

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Lee hats had their various labels. What did they mean?

Black label? White label? Read label? Blue Label?

Were the colors their way of designating the quality levels? IF so, which way did they go? Which was the top notch "color" label?
 

DJH

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Quality levels works for these coloured labels

JohnnieWalker-L.jpg
 

zetwal

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HatsEnough

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Thanks, Zetwal...

On that thread Lefty said:
Blue = $10
silver = $12.50
White = $15
I also have a Lee "black" label. So, that was yet another designation from Lee.

Well, I guess we can hope to find other examples of Lee ads.
 

HatsEnough

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Ah, that's the ticket. Thanks, buler.

black: $7.50
bronze: $8.50
blue: $10
silver: $12.50
white: $15
gold: $20

That is a big help on the Lee brand.So, I have a blue label and a white labeled Lee (and a Panama that does not mention the label business).
 

zetwal

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By the way, as far as I am aware, there was no red label (see your thread title) ... ;)
 

HatsEnough

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Yeah... I was just throwing colors out there as I didn't know to what extent the colors business went.. I was thinking purple, mauve, and chartreuse, too.
;)
 

zetwal

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Yeah... I was just throwing colors out there as I didn't know to what extent the colors business went.. I was thinking purple, mauve, and chartreuse, too.
;)

Internal company memos indicate that at one point "rainbow" was under discussion. The idea was scrapped when Lee executives couldn't agree where in the hierarchy to put it. ;)
 

HatsEnough

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Internal company memos indicate that at one point "rainbow" was under discussion. The idea was scrapped when Lee executives couldn't agree where in the hierarchy to put it. ;)

Ah, I remember that memo. There was an argument between the CEO and the chief of the advertising dept. One said rainbow was the top of the line, and the other said it was the bottom. The Irish representative said it didn't matter because they already had the pot 'o gold label. It was a big fight.
 

Brad Bowers

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Ah, I remember that memo. There was an argument between the CEO and the chief of the advertising dept. One said rainbow was the top of the line, and the other said it was the bottom. The Irish representative said it didn't matter because they already had the pot 'o gold label. It was a big fight.

And then someone remembered that Hat Corporation of America already had "Rainbow" as a model designation for the Dobbs brand, and they all went back to the drawing board. lol

Brad
 

PabloElFlamenco

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I can confirm that my ... er... Lee Water-Bloc Fifth Avenue Beaver Nap Twenty Gold Label (sigh) has an original "Lee" $20.00 price label under the sweatband.
Seems to me, and that isn't limited to the Lee brand, hat manufacturers did everything to confuse themselves in the naming department: no help, from the marketing point of view!
Paul
 

PabloElFlamenco

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I'd like to see the hat. Is it in the Lee Lounge?

Glad to oblige, Zetwal (yes, it is in the Lee Lounge)
It's one of my better hats, definitely a winter weight (with slightly longish "hair"), for which reason the felt is not as supple as the "real" nice hats. Quality build, though, and in very good condition (probably 1940's or perhaps 1950's?)
Leehat012-1.jpg


Leehat013-1.jpg


Leehat014-1.jpg


Leehat015-1.jpg


Leehat016.jpg


Leehat017.jpg


Nasty, my apologies
Leehat001-2.jpg


Paul
 
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Very interesting Paul... thanks for posting the images again. All of the Lee hats I've handled have been very well built. The upper price line fedoras (40's from Knox and Dobbs) from the late 1940's - early 1950's have a stiff hand when compared to the twenty dollar hats from the same period. The crease is easier to mold, but the hats are more formal in character and not as "friendly" as the softer hats. Do you find this with the Lee Gold label? I wonder if there was a Lee forty at that time also?
 

zetwal

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Glad to oblige, Zetwal (yes, it is in the Lee Lounge)
It's one of my better hats, definitely a winter weight (with slightly longish "hair"), for which reason the felt is not as supple as the "real" nice hats. Quality build, though, and in very good condition (probably 1940's or perhaps 1950's?)

Thanks for reposting the pics. Somehow, I never noticed that it was a gold label until you pointed it out.
 

PabloElFlamenco

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Alan, HatsEnough, Zetwal: interesting concourse. Yes, very good build quality, visibly serious.

The hat, or rather the crown felt, cannot be called "stiff", it's supple enough, the crease is easy enough to change. On the other hand, it doesn't have much of a tendency to remain put, it doesn't seem to have what some call "memory", so I leave it always in the same form, which is very much a "Dick Tracy" kind of thing.

In clarification (of what I wrote a few posts back), the very very best felts, in my opinion, are the ones in which one can, at will, introduce some kind of "sub-crease", sometimes a "crushed look", to the basic creased form, and the hat will keep that particular shape and form, until one decides to change it. You see it in some of the photographs of president Truman's or Roosevelt's hats.

Paul
 

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