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Oldest Hat Shops in the US

Messages
10,588
Location
vancouver, canada
Website? Batsakes doesn't have a website. However, you're right. I just called the shop and Mr. Miller indicated he's not doing customs anymore. It must be a recent development, though, as there's a profile Facebook page out there (not affiliated w/ Batsakes) where a gentleman indicates he received his custom last July. Is this book based primarily on internet research or did you reach out and interview any of the hat shop owners?

So here you go, @belfastboy. Move to Cincinnati, walk into Gus's shop and tell him you're taking over the custom business!
This keeps coming up.....Rands Hats was just looking for an apprentice, opportunities abound and me being much too old to jump. So I am too late to get my own Gus creation but at least I have a second hand one.
 
Messages
10,588
Location
vancouver, canada
Frunobulax, the Batsake profile was based on reporting from Cincinnati Magazine, WCPO-TV Cincinnati, and other Ohio/based periodicals … all found online. So, yes, a lot of the basic research for the book was via the Internet and one-on-one conversations over a period of 11 months. And, as you learned from my posts, neither Gus - nor Shudde’s - is doing custom work.
When I get ready to publish a second edition, I’ll be sure to send you a draft so you can check everything.
One thing I have learned in my years here in the Lounge.....You can't get away with anything! Somebody will catch you out and correct your errors as the repository of hat knowledge is wide and deep.....like Wikipedia without the ideology....just the facts. And that is one of the things I love about it.
 
Messages
19,301
Location
Funkytown, USA
Frunobulax, the Batsake profile was based on reporting from Cincinnati Magazine, WCPO-TV Cincinnati, and other Ohio/based periodicals … all found online. So, yes, a lot of the basic research for the book was via the Internet and one-on-one conversations over a period of 11 months. And, as you learned from my posts, neither Gus - nor Shudde’s - is doing custom work.
When I get ready to publish a second edition, I’ll be sure to send you a draft so you can check everything.

You'll be happy to know I purchased your book.
 
Messages
19,005
Location
Central California
One thing I have learned in my years here in the Lounge.....You can't get away with anything! Somebody will catch you out and correct your errors as the repository of hat knowledge is wide and deep.....like Wikipedia without the ideology....just the facts. And that is one of the things I love about it.


Agreed. Very little rudeness here, but no punches pulled either. I’ve been roughed up and educated more than once and I’m sure it will happen again.
 

Rmccamey

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,718
Location
Central Texas
To my knowledge, the oldest hat shops still operating and making custom hats are Batsakes and Peters Bros (1911). Does Shudde make customs?

Shudde went through changes many years ago and is now, as stated, a small, off-the-shelf hat maker and has, as far as I can tell, fairly low volume. Peter's Brothers remains a full-service "the way it used to be" hat shop although their bread and butter is off-the-shelf hats. They also bash and crease open crown "blanks" which, I'm sure, gives many non-hat people the sense they are getting a full custom hat. Catelina hats in Bryan, TX operates in much the same manner.
 

glider

A-List Customer
Messages
389
While your research is appreciated and informative, I'm afraid you've made some mistakes, Levine Hats in, St Louis has been around longer than any of the shops listed and has been in the same family the whole time. That is also an important point, how many times have some of those shops changed hands. I personally think that if a business has changed hands, they really can't claim to have been in business any longer than they have been in business, that is to say that they bought the business x years ago, they weren't in business since the shop opened. We all enjoy the history of our hobby so in that regard we appreciate your work.
 
Messages
19,301
Location
Funkytown, USA
While your research is appreciated and informative, I'm afraid you've made some mistakes, Levine Hats in, St Louis has been around longer than any of the shops listed and has been in the same family the whole time. That is also an important point, how many times have some of those shops changed hands. I personally think that if a business has changed hands, they really can't claim to have been in business any longer than they have been in business, that is to say that they bought the business x years ago, they weren't in business since the shop opened. We all enjoy the history of our hobby so in that regard we appreciate your work.

Well, that's a can of worms. I think if the brick and mortar operation is pretty continuous under the same name, they qualify.
 
Messages
19,301
Location
Funkytown, USA
This keeps coming up.....Rands Hats was just looking for an apprentice, opportunities abound and me being much too old to jump. So I am too late to get my own Gus creation but at least I have a second hand one.

I hope you realize my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek when I wrote that. It's disappointing to find out from Mr. Miller he's no longer making customs, but not surprising. I haven't been in the shop since the madness hit.

Now, to be sure, he's got equipment that somebody will salivate over.
 
Messages
15,040
Location
Buffalo, NY
While your research is appreciated and informative, I'm afraid you've made some mistakes, Levine Hats in, St Louis has been around longer than any of the shops listed and has been in the same family the whole time. That is also an important point, how many times have some of those shops changed hands. I personally think that if a business has changed hands, they really can't claim to have been in business any longer than they have been in business, that is to say that they bought the business x years ago, they weren't in business since the shop opened. We all enjoy the history of our hobby so in that regard we appreciate your work.

It may be hard to maintain this standard of purity... most of the hat brands sold by these shops closed their manufacturing facilities fifty years ago.
 
Messages
10,588
Location
vancouver, canada
I hope you realize my tongue was planted firmly in my cheek when I wrote that. It's disappointing to find out from Mr. Miller he's no longer making customs, but not surprising. I haven't been in the shop since the madness hit.

Now, to be sure, he's got equipment that somebody will salivate over.

Yes, but still your point hits home. If I were 20 years younger I would be looking for an apprenticeship somewhere. And to work with a man like Gus would be an incredible opportunity and likely a hoot! So whenever opportunities pass my way it does tug at the heart strings and I do reflect on ..."Oh, the possibilities!"
 
Messages
19,301
Location
Funkytown, USA
Yes, but still your point hits home. If I were 20 years younger I would be looking for an apprenticeship somewhere. And to work with a man like Gus would be an incredible opportunity and likely a hoot! So whenever opportunities pass my way it does tug at the heart strings and I do reflect on ..."Oh, the possibilities!"

Of course, then you would have to learn to root for the Reds, appreciate Skyline Chili, and stock your fridge with Hudy Gold (or Little Kings).
 
Messages
10,588
Location
vancouver, canada
Of course, then you would have to learn to root for the Reds, appreciate Skyline Chili, and stock your fridge with Hudy Gold (or Little Kings).
I could just revisit the days of The Big Red Machine....loved Sparky, Joe, Pete, Tony, Johnny, Davey et al. One of my alltime faves....the rest I would have to learn to love. But the summer humidity could be the deal breaker.
 
Messages
19,005
Location
Central California
While your research is appreciated and informative, I'm afraid you've made some mistakes, Levine Hats in, St Louis has been around longer than any of the shops listed and has been in the same family the whole time. That is also an important point, how many times have some of those shops changed hands. I personally think that if a business has changed hands, they really can't claim to have been in business any longer than they have been in business, that is to say that they bought the business x years ago, they weren't in business since the shop opened. We all enjoy the history of our hobby so in that regard we appreciate your work.


So if I apprentice at a shop and end up working there for twenty plus years and eventually buy out the old owner when he retires the clock on how long the store has been in existence starts over again unless I’m family? That seems counterintuitive.
 
Messages
19,301
Location
Funkytown, USA
So if I apprentice at a shop and end up working there for twenty plus years and eventually buy out the old owner when he retires the clock on how long the store has been in existence starts over again unless I’m family? That seems counterintuitive.

C'mon, Brent, the original owner could adopt you first!

Or you could marry his daughter.
 

glider

A-List Customer
Messages
389
There are a few exceptions but very few actually. There are businesses that have been out of business for several years and then sold the name to someone who then claims to have been in business for as long as the name has been used. Indian Motorcycles come to mind. What is even more common is for someone to sell the business and the new owner claims to have been in business for as long as the business has been open. It's a different business operating under the original name. You make a valid point, but I hope you also see the point I'm trying to make.
 
Messages
10,588
Location
vancouver, canada
C'mon, Brent, the original owner could adopt you first!

Or you could marry his daughter.
There are a few exceptions but very few actually. There are businesses that have been out of business for several years and then sold the name to someone who then claims to have been in business for as long as the name has been used. Indian Motorcycles come to mind. What is even more common is for someone to sell the business and the new owner claims to have been in business for as long as the business has been open. It's a different business operating under the original name. You make a valid point, but I hope you also see the point I'm trying to make.
An aspect of your post that I took exception to is referring to the author: "making some mistakes" as you request of others to see your point of view then it suggests to me we can have different perspectives and discuss them without having to label them as "mistakes". I see it as 'his book, his rules'.
 

glider

A-List Customer
Messages
389
An aspect of your post that I took exception to is referring to the author: "making some mistakes" as you request of others to see your point of view then it suggests to me we can have different perspectives and discuss them without having to label them as "mistakes". I see it as 'his book, his rules'.
I guess we could agree to disagree! When writing about history we don't really get to apply our own rules, we are either correct or we are not. I do wish that I hadn't commented, not that I was wrong, I just don't enjoy petty arguments. I have no further interest in this.
 

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