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Epilogue: On Wearing A Hat
by [?]

A hat is distinguished from a cap or bonnet by the possession of a brim. The modern hat can be traced back to the petasus worn by the ancient Romans when on a journey; and hats were also thus used by the earlier Greeks. Not until after the Norman conquest did the use of hats begin in England. A “hatte of biever” was worn by one of the “nobels of the lande, mett at Clarendom” about the middle of the 12th century; and Froissart describes hats that were worn at Edward’s court in 1340, when the Garter order was instituted. The use of the scarlet hat which distinguishes cardinals was sanctioned in the 13th century by Pope Innocent IV. The merchant in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales had

“On his head a Flaundrish bever hat”;

and from this period onwards frequent mention is made of “felt hattes,” “beever hattes,” and other like names. Throughout mediaeval times the wearing of a hat was regarded as a mark of rank and distinction. During the reign of Elizabeth the caprices of fashion in hats were many and various.

The Puritans affected a steeple crown and broad brimmed hat, while the Cavaliers adopted a lower crown and a broader brim ornamented with feathers. In the time of Charles II. still greater breadth of brim and a profusion of feathers were fashionable features of hats, and the gradual expansion of brim led to the device of looping or tying up that portion. Hence arose various fashionable “cocks” in hats; and ultimately, by the looping up equally of three sides of the low-crowned hat, the cocked hat which prevailed throughout the 18th century was elaborated. The Quaker hat, plain, low in crown, and broad in brim, originated with the sect in the middle of the 17th century. The silk hat is an article of recent introduction. Though it was known in Florence about a century ago, its manufacture was not introduced into France till about 1825, and its development has taken place entirely since that period. In all kinds of hat-making the French excel; in the United Kingdom the felt hat trade is principally centred in the neighbourhood of Manchester; and in the United States the States of New York and New Jersey enjoy the greater part of the industry.

So much for hats.