Non-hat wearing people in the Golden Era

Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Yeps, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. Yeps

    Yeps Call Me a Cab

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    I was just talking to my grandmother (who was born in 1928 or 29) recently, and I found it interesting to note that she said that her father and older brothers never wore hats, at least that she knew. Also, apparently my grandfather never wore a hat either. He fought in WWII, so I would have thought him a prime fedora candidate.

    I was wondering if any of you had learned of things similar to this.
    By the way, my grandmother is first generation Baltimore Italian, and my grandfather was second generation German, also from Baltimore.
     
  2. Nick D

    Nick D Call Me a Cab

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    I have very few photos of my grandpa (1st generation Italian American, born 1924) in a hat. I remember him always wearing a union ballcap, but I don't think he was much of a hat wearer in his younger days.
     
  3. Atomic

    Atomic One of the Regulars

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    My maternal grandfather always wore cowboy hats, but my other grandfather I don't remember ever seeing pictures of him wearing hats at all. I'll have to see if my grandmother remembers if he did or not.
     
  4. The Most Famous Non Hat Wearers of the Golden Era

    The long and the short of it.

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  5. Professor

    Professor A-List Customer

    Contrary to popular belief, it's not a given that everyone in years past wore a hat, particularly here in Southern California. Who needed it? ;)
     
  6. Yeps

    Yeps Call Me a Cab

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    It was just a bit of a shock to me, as I had grown up with (okay, loose term it hasn't really been that long), the concept that up until the 60s, everyone wore a hat, and then Kennedy didn't wear one at his inauguration, and no one wore hats anymore. It was interesting to find out that neither of those were true.
     
  7. Atomic Age

    Atomic Age Practically Family

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    I think you can safely say that before the 60's, hats were like cigarettes. At the high water mark around 65% of American's smoked. You could probably say about the same thing of hat wearing. Well thats still a fairly large number of people not smoking and not wearing hats.

    Interesting the remark about hats in Southern California. There is a line in the 1954 Dragnet feature film, where a guy comments that he thought that Friday and his partner were cops because, "there aren't that many hats in California".

    Interestingly I'm from Phoenix, Arizona. My parents grew up here in the depression. I have many photographs taken on the street at that time, and you see LOTS of hats.

    Something else to be aware of when looking at photographs. It was not uncommon that if someone knew they were going to have their picture taken, they would take off their hat.

    Doug
     
  8. In the "winter," yes. In the summer, however, straw hats were often seen. But, then, Southern California has always done its own thing...

    My father, a WWII vet from PA, wore hats a lot until about 1952 or so (based on photos), during which time he was living in NYC.
     
  9. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    I bet it was over 90% in the 20's and earlier. I subscribe to the theory that the automobile killed the hat.
     
  10. Atomic Age

    Atomic Age Practically Family

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    Smoking or hats?

    I've always heard that in the 30's and 40's the head room in cars were designed with hats in mind. In the 50's cars started to get low and the roof lines with it. But I don't know if the lack of hats effected the roof line, or the roof line effected hats.

    Interesting sociological conundrum here.

    Doug
     
  11. I tend to think it was the former. The president of (I think) Nash actually demanded that his early-50s models be designed so that men could drive them while wearing hats...
     
  12. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Was my response that ambiguous? :rolleyes:
     
  13. Oh, the percentage was certainly high before WWII, although there was a slight decline among college men as early as post-WWI. I think that the automobile contributed in two main ways: lower roof lines and the standard availability of heating.
     
  14. Michaelshane

    Michaelshane One Too Many

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    My father was born in 1924,never wore a fedora,sometimes a straw cowboy hat.Later in life he wore a ball cap.
     
  15. Atomic Age

    Atomic Age Practically Family

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    Interesting. I just did some research, and from what I can tell, according to the CDC, smoking in the United States reached its peak in 1964 at 42% of adult males smoking. Women smoked at a somewhat lower rate, around 30%. Today the rate is around 20%.

    I would have thought it was a much higher number than that.

    Doug
     
  16. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Last night I watched a couple hours' worth of home movie footage taken at the New York World's Fair in September 1939 -- and I'd guess maybe half the men in the crowds were wearing hats of some kind, either straws or felts. I didn't notice any caps on men. Substantially less than half the women were wearing hats, and essentially none of the children -- there might have been one or two kids with some kind of headgear, but no more than that. Not even uniformed Boy Scouts had hats on.

    This might have been a seasonal thing, but I think it's interesting since the Fair attracted crowds from all ages and classes and all walks of life -- in casual settings, headgear seemed already to be falling out of favor across the board.

    Quite a bit of smoking, though -- even some of the sideshow attractions were puffing away.
     
  17. Amy Jeanne

    Amy Jeanne Call Me a Cab

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    Great minds think alike lol because I was just going to say the same. I've been OBESSESSING over World's Fair clips and studying everyone and everything. The lack of hats was one of the things I've noticed.
     
  18. Atomic Age

    Atomic Age Practically Family

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    Here ya go

    http://www.archive.org/details/NewYorkWorldsFair

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  19. D Yizz

    D Yizz New in Town

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    ...highways with exclusive lanes of 50, 75 and 100 MPH..... well, THAT was visionary thinking.
     
  20. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    7,206
    Jet Pack

    Where the Hell is my personal Jet Backpack? Didn't one of those World Fairs promise them to us?
     

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