Here’s a stylish way to start the new Museum season – with top hat finery and an accompanying mystery. Maybe you can play detective.
All we know about this elegant silk man’s top hat is from its label stating “Longwood Shuster’s Inc., Willington”. Based on its accession number in the Museum’s catalog, Executive Director Evelyn Johnson believes it was donated in the 1980s. Who donated it? On what occasions was it worn?
The accompanying storage frame is made from red quilted fabric and composition board, secured with leather snaps. One bit of information internet searches revealed is that the storage frame is the worst possible way to store the hat. It should be stored open, resting on its crown.
The first top hat appeared about 1830. In no time the height of hats grew, making storage difficult until a Parisian hat maker installed springs to fashion a collapsible hat.
Let this elegant finery spark your imagination as you make plans to put on the Ritz!