Smoky the bear...is that what he's called?

Discussion in 'Hats' started by PabloElFlamenco, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. PabloElFlamenco

    PabloElFlamenco Practically Family

    Messages:
    581
    Location:
    near Brussels, Belgium
    Memory does strange things; like ...disappear!

    I won a "park ranger" Nutria Quality hat on eBay, and it's like new. In fact, it stinks of what I believe to be tobacco and the sweatband practically desintegrated upon touching it, it's already been thrown away with one single rip... But otherwise that hat is perfect.

    Upon second thought, I think I might want to remove the stiffener, from the brim, I mean: man, what a stiff brim that hat got!!!

    What's the single best way of removing (shellac?) stiffener. Are these hats' brims stiffened with shellac? In which case, below thread would suggest to use ...naphta?...

    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=31477&highlight=remove+stiffener

    I've also read that shellac get's "beaten out of the hat". How's that, with a stick?

    What would you suggest? And...would you think it could work, to get rid of such amount of stiffener?

    Any one ever reworked a park ranger hat? What into? I'm sort of trying make my mind up on this one...

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  2. Mario

    Mario I'll Lock Up

    No, Naptha's definitely not the way to go here. Try denatured alcohol. Should do the trick.
     
  3. PabloElFlamenco

    PabloElFlamenco Practically Family

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    Location:
    near Brussels, Belgium
    Hey Mario, a ja, "alcool dénaturé". Right. No smoke, I guess then (not that I do, except out of my ears, sometimes). Mucho thanks/Pablo
     
  4. You shouldn't smoke around naptha either!!! :eusa_doh:
     
  5. Mario

    Mario I'll Lock Up

    Right! VERY BAD idea! :eek: :kick:
     
  6. PabloElFlamenco

    PabloElFlamenco Practically Family

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    Location:
    near Brussels, Belgium
    Of course not! NO OPEN FLAME EVER AROUND NAPHTA, ALCOHOL... I hope that's clear to all...please!
    ...I recall, as a kid, playing with gasoline...
    ...I recall filling the car with gas, cigarette in hand...
    I'm a darn LUCKY FOOL to remember, in one piece, these (and other...) things...much :eek:
     
  7. Bruce Wayne

    Bruce Wayne My Mail is Forwarded Here

    If it looks like this it is supposed to be stiff. My father was a Park Ranger before he retired.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. tonyb

    tonyb Vendor

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    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Couple of things ...

    Yes, denatured alcohol will soften the shellac in a felt hat body. But I don't know that anything short of a long soak in a large amount of it will wash out enough shellac to make much of a difference in the felt's stiffness once the alcohol has evaporated. I've used denatured alcohol to soften some board-stiff Western hats long enough to reshape them. But they stiffened right back up again once they were dry. Perhaps others have experienced otherwise, but ...

    And ...

    Are you sure you want to soften that brim? It might get kinda wampus and unruly and just plain sloppy looking. When it's raining, the state troopers out here (in this state, the uniform hat is a nice blue shade) wear those plastic protectors over their "Smoky Bear" hats. Yeah, the plastic protectors ain't much to look at, and some would argue that a hat is made to be worn in the rain, but I'd bet that the covers keep those hats looking sharper over the long term.
     
  9. texashatman

    texashatman Familiar Face

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    South Texas
    This is slightly off-topic but it answers the question in the thread name.

    It's actually just Smoky Bear. I grew up my whole life calling him Smoky "the" Bear but my brother recently moved to Ruidoso New Mexico where the original cub that was the inspiration for the ad campaign was found after a big forest fire years and years ago. The people there are quick to correct anybody that throws in "the". I found that kinda funny :)
     
  10. Ordinary Guy

    Ordinary Guy One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,292
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I always called him The Bear too...[huh]

    OK, No MORE THE.. Smokey Bear is it....
     
  11. J.T.Marcus

    J.T.Marcus Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,354
    Location:
    Mineola, Texas
    The second paragraph of the Wikipedia article is especially enlightening:

    Smokey Bear
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Smokey's correct full name is Smokey Bear. In 1952, the songwriters Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins had a hit with "Smokey the Bear". The pair said that "the" was added to Smokey's name to keep the song's rhythm. This small change has caused confusion among Smokey fans ever since.[3] Note that, from the beginning, Smokey's name was intentionally spelled differently from the adjective smoky. The Forest Service emphatically denies that the name was ever "Smokey the Bear"; however, in the 1950s, that variant of the name became very widespread both in the popular imagination and in print, including at least one standard encyclopedia.[4] The campaign to remind the public of the correct version of the name is almost as old as the Smokey Bear campaign itself.
     
  12. Geesie

    Geesie Practically Family

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    718
    Location:
    San Diego
    BTW, the proper term for this hat is "campaign hat".
     
  13. cptjeff

    cptjeff Practically Family

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    Greensboro, NC
    And the brims were made to be ridiculously stiff to keep rain off the face and keep it stiff even in crazy weather.

    I wouldn't try to get the stiffener out. A floppy campaign hat brim would look pretty silly.
     
  14. 4and1

    4and1 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    103
    Location:
    central coast CA
    The flat brim would definately need the stiffener as it doesn't have the snap that a fedora brim has to keep it's shape.

    I don't have a campaign hat. Maybe Santa the Claus will bring one.
     
  15. PabloElFlamenco

    PabloElFlamenco Practically Family

    Messages:
    581
    Location:
    near Brussels, Belgium
    Hi board, many thanks for your responses and suggestions. Smokey Bear 't is then! I'll sleep over what to do with my campaign hat...probably pointless to get rid of the stiffener, I guess.
     
  16. Slim Portly

    Slim Portly One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,285
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Not "campaign THE hat"? lol
     
  17. johnnycanuck

    johnnycanuck Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,144
    Location:
    Alberta
    Montana peak. Scout hat. Mountie hat. Campaign hat. Here is mine

    [​IMG]

    Now why would you buy such a hat only to change it? In fact I have an actual Biltmore Mountie issue hat that I built a hat press for just to keep the brim flat. But then again I am a Sout leader and use it with my uniform.:p

    Johnny
     
  18. ukali1066

    ukali1066 Practically Family

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    513
    Location:
    West Yorkshire
    Daniel Day Lewis looked great in a similar hat in There will be blood....
     
  19. Fredthecat

    Fredthecat One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Last house on the left
    Smokey Bear

    They're right.
    It's Smokey Bear.

    I used to be Smokey Bear for US Forest Service.

    Had to attend Smokey School before being allowed to Don the Head. Calling Smokey "THE" would get you fired!

    I still have the campaign hat and size 52 Levi's. They're huge!
     

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