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Stetson Sweat Stamps/ LOT XXXX

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14,741
Location
Buffalo, NY
Lot numbers were stamped on the back of many Stetson sweatbands through about 1940.

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Are they strictly sweatband lot numbers? I don't know, but they do appear to run chronologically. Here are a few of mine, from smallest number to largest. Let's see yours!

Stetson Star with Fray sweat/ Lot 155 (or 755?)

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Black narrow brim fedora with Fray Sweat/ Lot 1781

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1X Nutria with Fray Sweat/ Lot 3057

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Nutria Fur Western/ Lot 4427

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Stetson Standard Quality/ Lot 6740

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Real Nutria Quality/ Lot 7033

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No.1 Quality western/ Lot 7527

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Standard Quality/ Lot 76XX (price label obscures last two digits)

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Playboy/ circa 1940/ lot 7794

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Chepstow

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5,406
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Germany/ Remscheid
Alan, marvelous Stetson collection.

The lot numbers could indicate that the hats have been produced in times of WWII war.
In German military caps and helmets were also Lot numbers.
 
Last edited:
Messages
14,741
Location
Buffalo, NY
Thank you, Manfred. These hats are all produced prior to the U.S. entry into WWII. I haven't done an exhaustive hunt through later hats, but from those I have looked at, it appears the lot stamp was phased out in the early 1940s. A smaller, more precise serial number imprint (one letter followed by 6 digits) continued.

This Imperial Stetson, mid to late 1930s has Lot#7565

imperial9.jpg
 

Joshbru3

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4,409
Location
Chicago, IL
Late 1930's Stetson Alpine LOT 463

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1920's Stetson Flexible Conforming bowler

I can't make out the Lot number, but here it is.

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Early 1900s Stetson Select Quality Bowler

LOT 5470?

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Messages
14,741
Location
Buffalo, NY
Thanks Josh! These can be hard to read, and turning some of these sweats enough for a photo can be risky. The soft sweats are pretty flexible, but I used my hinged mirror to read most of them. I tried to decipher one of my early derbies without success.
 

Joshbru3

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4,409
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Chicago, IL
Thanks Josh! These can be hard to read, and turning some of these sweats enough for a photo can be risky. The soft sweats are pretty flexible, but I used my hinged mirror to read most of them. I tried to decipher one of my early derbies without success.

I always get SO nervous when I try and see whats under these old sweats. I feel around the sweatband first to see if there are any very dry spots or cracks. Then I look at the stitching and reeding to make sure its solid and intact. I turn the sweat out slowly and if I hear ANY noise, crack, snap, etc, I immediately stop. I have found that the sweatbands on the soft hats are much more flexible than the stiff hats. But then again I have had some old derbies with incredibly soft and flexible sweats. I guess it just depends on the climate the hat sat in for the last 90 of so years.
 

bowlerman

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6,198
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South Dakota
I've made that mistake way too many times. A frequent issue I've had is a soft and supple sweatband, clearly not dry in any way, tearing from its own stitching like wet paper. My OCD probably contributes as well, as I can't deal with a partially sewn in sweatband. It's all or nothing for me.

Thanks, Alan, for posting these. Fascinating.
 

carouselvic

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Messages
4,583
Location
Kansas
Westerns

The Fray...The Boss Raw Edge...Lot #1246






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Both Stamps done in red
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BOP Style hat Lot#?148
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Rancheros(San Fran) Lot#XXX8

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shows the sweat resister
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3X Lot #7698 W/sweat resister






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Messages
14,741
Location
Buffalo, NY
Here's the only hat I own that qualifies, my 30's homburg. Nice clear stamp, though, with a price tag in excellent condition:

Thanks Randall... have a look around that one for the large LOT stamp. Many of these carried the smaller 1Letter+6digit stamp too. The Lot# stamp is much larger and fainter. I find most of them on the store imprint side or near the front of the sweat.
 

randooch

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4,869
Location
Ukiah, California
Thanks Randall... have a look around that one for the large LOT stamp. Many of these carried the smaller 1Letter+6digit stamp too. The Lot# stamp is much larger and fainter. I find most of them on the store imprint side or near the front of the sweat.

Well, the hat survived another inspection, but to no avail. Several swoopy bits of fuzzy black writing (they look like crayon marks) are present, but alas, no Lot #'s.

Next time, perhaps. :)
 
Messages
14,741
Location
Buffalo, NY
The mirror is a good minimally invasive technique to mining the underside of the sweat.

I'd love to see other hats posted to this thread. We might have some hard dated hats that would help to provide a rosetta stone for early Stetsons. Even without that, it makes a nice timeline of styles as I am pretty sure these sweatband lot stamps are sequential.
 

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